Fish Farmer Magazine January 2020

Page 1

Fish Farmer VOLUME 43



Serving worldwide aquaculture since 1977





Leading salmon farmer calls for action over activists

Ben Hadfield reflects on Mowi Scotland’s first year in feed

Skretting team talks about new markets in RAS

Pioneer sees hope on the horizon for GM plant production

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Contents – Editor’s Welcome Contents – Editor’s Welcome Contents – Editor’s Welcome

Contents Contents Contents

48-49 4-15 4-14 41-43 42-44 38-39 42-43 48-49 4-15 4-14 41-43 42-44 38-39 Brussels News Aqua Aquaculture Feed 2018 Innovation What’s happening happening in in aquaculture aquaculture 48-49 Salmon market What’s Montpellier preview From torobust salmon Investor advice IFFO shrimp Brussels 4-15 News 4-14 Aqua 2018 Aquaculture Innovation 41-43 42-44 38-39 in the the UK UK and around around the world world in and the Salmon market robust What’s happening in aquaculture Montpellier preview From shrimp to salmon Investor advice Brussels News Aqua 2018 Innovation Aquaculture in the UK and around the world Salmon market What’s happening in aquaculture Montpellier preview From shrimp torobust salmon Investor advice 50-55 44-46 46-49 40-41 JENNY in the UK and around the world JENNY HJUL HJUL –– EDITOR EDITOR 16-21 16-17 16-22 50-55 44-46 46-49 40-41 Brussels Aqua 2018 Innovation Aquaculture JENNY JENNY HJUL HJUL –– EDITOR EDITOR 16-21 16-17 16-22 New processors’ group Industry pioneer News Extra platform Parliamentary inquiry 50-55 Sti rling course Pictures atmarket the exhibiti on Insurance Brussels Aqua 2018 Aquaculture Innovation 44-46 46-49 40-41 JENNY JENNY HJUL HJUL –– EDITOR EDITOR Ian Roberts of Mowi inquiry Steve Bracken SSC’s record results Stewart Graham The final sessions New processors’ group Industry pioneer News Extra platform 16-21 16-17 Parliamentary 16-22 Sti rling course Pictures at the exhibiti on Insurance market Brussels Aqua 2018 Innovation Aquaculture Steve Bracken SSC’s record results Stewart Graham The fi nal sessions New processors’ groupon Industry pioneer News Extra platform Parliamentary inquiry Sti rling course Pictures atmarket the exhibiti Insurance salmon farming sector in Scotland, when it was to he focus this month istopictures on Europe, where the internati T HE is coincidence that and videos of unhealthy Sno Fish Farmer went press, there was lltold no offi cialonal s we embark on 2020 there is much tosti look forward Steve Bracken SSC’s record results Stewart Graham The fi18-19 nal sessions 22-23 18-19 24-27 the subject athat parliamentary inquiry, embraced the HE salmon farming sector in Scotland, when told it(European was to industry will soon be gathering for the joint EAS salmon were sent to news outlets just as the Scotti sh news from the Scotti sh parliamentary inquiry into salmon to,coincidence even in aofwent climate of conti nuing politi uncertainty. he focus this month isto on Europe, where the internati onal T be is pictures and videos of unhealthy Sno Fish Farmer press, there was sti llcal no offi cial SSPO market 22-23 18-19 24-27 44-47 opportunity this would provide to explain itinto operated. Salmon SSPO be the subject of a be parliamentary inquiry, embraced the Aquaculture Society) and WAS (World Aquaculture Society) parliament went back to work at the start of this month. These farming, conducted earlier this year by the Rural Economy December’s general electi on brought ahow lengthy period of industry will soon gathering for the (European salmon were sent to news outlets just as the Scotti sh news from the Scotti sh parliamentary inquiry salmon Hamish Macdonell salmon farming sector in Scotland, when told itEAS was to he focus this month is on Europe, where the internati onal T HE is coincidence that and videos of unhealthy Sno Fish Farmer went topictures press, there was sti lljoint no offi cial Current trends In good Julie Hesketh-Laird The industry had nothing to and, ifWestminster given aof fair Meet thehealth new chief executive opportunity this would provide to explain how ithearing, operated. Salmon market 22-23 18-19 conference, to be staged over fifor ve days in the southern French images had litt le to do the current state Scotland’s ficould sh 24-27 and Connecti vity (REC) committ ee. MSPs have now held five SSPO Feed parliamentary upheaval ahide close (in at least) and Aquaculture and WAS (World Aquaculture Society) parliament went back to work atthe the start of this month. These farming, conducted earlier this year by the Rural Economy be the subject of aSociety) parliamentary inquiry, embraced industry willsent soon be gathering joint EAS (European salmon were to news outlets just as the Scotti shthe news from the Scotti shwith parliamentary inquiry into salmon address much of the criti cism levelled against it. Current trends In good health Julie Hesketh-Laird The industry had nothing to hide and, if given a fair hearing, could Meet the new chief executi ve African expansion city of Montpellier. As well as highlighti ng latest technological farms where sea lice levels are in decline and, in fact, at a fi vemeeti ngs, in private, to consider their report and we must be will, hopefully, lay the grounds for a workable Brexit soluti on so conference, to be staged over fi ve days in the southern French images had litt le to do with the current state of Scotland’s fi sh and Connecti vity (REC) committ ee. MSPs have now held fi ve opportunity this would provide explain how it month. operated. Salmon market SSPO Aquaculture Society) and WAS (World Aquaculture Society) parliament back to work atto the start of this These farming, went conducted earlier this year by the Rural Economy 20-21 Fish Farmer supported this view, but atreport tiames felt that salmon address much of the criti cism levelled against it. advances in our fast moving sector, Aqua 2018 will also feature year low (htt p://scotti pati ent. However, waiti ng for their recommendati ons has been businesses can plan for the future. city of Montpellier. As well as highlighti ng the latest technological farms where sea lice levels are in decline and, in fact, at a fi vemeeti ngs, in private, to consider their and we must be Current trends In good health Julie Hesketh-Laird The industry had nothing to hide and, if given fair hearing, could Meet the new chief executive conference, tovity beto staged over days in theof southern images had litt le do with thefive current state Scotland’s fish and Connecti (REC) committ ee. MSPs have now heldFrench five 56 Comment 48-49 50-58 42-45 farmers were being drowned out by the noisier elements offarming the Fish Farmer supported this view, but atREC tiit. mes felt that salmon sessions on emerging markets and look at the role of sh This latest propaganda campaign, which involves all the usual made harder by leaks from within the to anti -salmon In our industry, that future istheir looking bright, aft er another advances in our fast moving sector, Aqua 2018 will also year low (htt p://scotti pati ent. However, waiti ng for recommendati ons been 52-53 address much of the criti cism levelled against city of As well as highlighti ng the latest technological farms -Montpellier. where sea lice levels are in decline and, inwe fact, at afihas fifeature vemeeti ngs, in private, to consider their report and must be Dr Marti n Jaff a 56 angling lobby, which had called for the investi gati on. But as the 48-49 50-58 42-45 farmers were being drowned out by the noisier elements of the Book review farming in alleviati ngof poverty. Increasingly, industry meeti ngs anti -aquaculture suspects, came as Holyrood’s Rural Economy acti vists. The latest these (see our news story on page 4) Training Aqua 2018 Innovation Aquaculture year marked by impressive innovati on, scienti fi c investi gati on sessions on emerging markets and look at the role of fi sh This latest propaganda campaign, which involves all the usual made harder by leaks from within the REC to anti -salmon farming Fish Farmer supported this view, but at ti mes felt that salmon advances in our fast moving Aqua 2018 willons alsohas feature year lowHowever, (htt p://scotti patient. waiti ng forsector, their recommendati been Research sessions progressed, and eventually farmers’ voices were heard, Focus on cleaner fiInnovation sh angling lobby, which had called for the investi gatiRural on. But as the inwe are broadening their scope, tackling subjects such asthat the social and Connecti vity committ ee returned from the summer recess to makes grim reading for the industry as it suggests committ ee Martyn Haines Conference round-up Best of the start-ups Book review and massive investment. Against such a backdrop, the sector 56 farming in alleviati ng poverty. Increasingly, industry meeti ngs anti -aquaculture suspects, came as Holyrood’s Economy acti vists. The latest of these (see our news story on page 4) Training Aqua 2018 Aquaculture 48-49 50-58 42-45 farmers were being drowned out by the noisier elements of the sessions onpropaganda emerging andwhich lookREC atinvolves the role-salmon fishusual This campaign, allofthe madelatest harder by leaks markets from within the to anti farming HABs and HAB nots became more opti misti c. We now believe that MSPs, perhaps with acceptability of aquaculture and the contributi on it makes to global sessions progressed, and eventually farmers’ voices were heard, we consider its draft report into the future of salmon farming. members have been willing to listen to those campaigning to Focus on cleaner fi sh are broadening their scope, tackling subjects such as the social Scotland is rearing tocalled go and will be hoping for support from allee and Connecti vity committ ee returned from the summer recess to makes grim reading for the industry asindustry itgati suggests that committ Martyn Haines Conference round-up Best of the start-ups angling lobby, which had for the investi on. But asngs 22-24 Book review farming in alleviati ngof poverty. Increasingly, anti -aquaculture suspects, came as Holyrood’s Rural Economy activists. The latest these (see our news story onmeeti page 4)the Training Aqua 2018 Aquaculture Innovation food security and saving the planet, a move that is to be welcomed. the excepti on of one or two Greens in cahoots with anti -farming became more opti misti c. We now believe that MSPs, perhaps with acceptability of aquaculture and the contributi on it makes to global Those who want to shut down the industry have, as expected, shut down this valuable sector, rather than to those who operate the relevant politi cal channels. As we were going to press, there consider its draft report into the future of salmon members have been willing to listen to those campaigning to sessions progressed, and eventually farmers’ voices were heard, we Focus cleaner fish are broadening their scope, tackling subjects such as thefarming. social and Connecti vity committ ee returned from the summer recess to makes grim reading for the industry as it suggests that committ ee Martyn Haines Conference round-up Best57 ofonthe start-ups Shellfish 53-55 60-63 48-49 Also investi gati ng initi ati ves inregard the developing world, Dr Harrison campaigners, will, on balance, the industry in abe favourable food security and saving the planet, aindustry move that isperhaps toanti welcomed. the excepti on ofvaluable one or two Greens in cahoots with -farming stepped up their acti viti es, which now involve breaching the within it.draft 54-55 was encouragement on this front, with an SSPO poll revealing Those who want to shut down the as shut down this sector, rather than to those who operate became more opti misti c. We now believe that MSPs, with acceptability of aquaculture and the contributi on ithave, makes toexpected, global consider its report into the future of salmon farming. members have been willing to listen to those campaigning to Dr Nick Lake 24 20 20-21 28-29 Charo Karisa of WorldFish writes about the farming potenti al inthe 57 53-55 60-63 48-49 light. They will hopefully see that farmers take their environmental Also investi gati ng initi ati ves in developing Harrison campaigners, will, on balance, regard the industry in a Dr favourable Aquaculture biosecure of farm sites to photographs in Ofwho course, such stories may be inaccurate in any case, Nor Fishing Aqua 2018 UK Net cleaning that 43 per cent of MSPs are in favour of salmon farming, stepped up their acti viti es, which now involve breaching the within it. food security and saving the planet, athe move that isand, toworld, be welcomed. the excepti on ofenvironments one or two Greens in cahoots with anti -farming Training Those want tocatf shut down the industry have, as expected, shut down this valuable sector, rather than tosnatch those who operate 24 20 20-21 28-29 Nigeria, both in ish and ti lapia culti vati on. Comment BTA Shellfi sh Charo Karisa of WorldFish writes about the farming potenti al in responsibiliti es seriously and that businesses will only ever invest in Introducti onons UK light. They will hopefully see that farmers take their environmental Farming angle Focus on Africa Robot soluti the hope of fi nding incriminati ng evidence against farmers. One committ ee’s fi ndings are not binding. Scotland’s fi sh farmers Aquaculture 57 up from 34 per cent in 2018. It is our mission to recruit the biosecure environments of farm sites to snatch photographs in Of course, such stories may be inaccurate and, in any case, the Nor Fishing Aqua Net cleaning 53-55 60-63 48-49 Also investi gati ngacti initi aties, veswhich inregard thenow developing world, Harrison campaigners, will, on balance, the industry inofa aDr favourable Martyn 2018 Haines stepped up their viti involve breaching theng game within Init.Scotland, the summer has been something waiti 26-27 What’s in a name? Dr Nick Lake Nigeria, both in catf ish and tisearching, lapia culti vati on. Phil Thomas growth that is sustainable. BTA Shellfi sh 24 20 20-21 responsibiliti es seriously and that businesses will only ever invest in Comment 28-29 Introducti campaigner lmed himself unsuccessfully, for dead have always been fortunate to have the support of their minister, remaining 57 per cent to the fold and convince them, too, of both Farming angle Focus on Africa Robot soluti the hope of fi nding incriminati ng evidence against farmers. One committ ee’s fi ndings are not binding. Scotland’s fi sh farmers Charo Karisa of WorldFish writes about the farming potenti al in light. Theythe will hopefully see that farmers take their environmental Aquaculture UK biosecure environments of farm sites tosomething snatch photographs ingame Of while course, such stories may be inaccurate and, inof any case, Nor Fishing Aqua 2018onons Net cleaning parliament is in recess and the members of Holyrood’s Scotland, the summer has been aof waiti ngthe IfInthe committ ee members, especially those who have yet tosh What’s in a name? Dr Nick Lake Phil Thomas growth that isfibeen sustainable. fi sh at a Marine Harvest site. Another said he saw ‘hundreds’ of Fergus Ewing, to grow sustainably. Feed the economic and environmental benefi ts in fi sh and shellfi Nigeria, both in catf ish and ti lapia culti vati on. campaigner lmed himself searching, unsuccessfully, for dead have always fortunate to have the support their minister, BTA Shellfi sh responsibiliti es seriously and that businesses will only ever invest in Comment Introducti on Farming angle Focus on Africa Robot soluti ons the hope of fi nding incriminati ng evidence against farmers. One committ ee’s fi ndings are not binding. Scotland’s fi sh farmers Rural Economy and Connecti vity committ ee conti nue to weigh up while parliament ishas in recess and the members of 58-59 60-63 68-69 51 visit a itthe salmon farm, likeespecially tosomething learn more about the subject of Phil IfBut the ee members, those who have yet Introducti on infested salmon in awould pen, but we only have his word against that should not go unchallenged that some MSPs on thetoREC In Scotland, the summer been ofhe aof waiti ngHolyrood’s game farming. fi sh at acommitt Marine Harvest site. Another said saw ‘hundreds’ of Fergus Ewing, to grow sustainably. What’s in a name? Dr Nick Lake Thomas growth that isfibeen sustainable. campaigner lmed himself searching, unsuccessfully, for dead have always to have the support their minister, the evidence infortunate their inquiry into salmon farming. We don’t expect 26 22-23 30 Rural Economy and Connecti vity committ ee conti nue to weigh up 58-59 their inquiry, we have plenty of good stories in our May issue. Even 60-63 68-69 51 bass UK visit a salmon farm, would like to learn more about the subject of while the parliament istheir in recess and the members of Holyrood’s of biologists who manage the welfare of committ ee, with own agendas against the growth of the Aquaculture Aathe good place to start isand with the feed producers, who have infested salmon avets pen, but we only have his word against that But itprofessional should not go unchallenged that some MSPs ontomay the REC Australia Training Sea If the committ ee especially those who have yet fi sh at Marine Harvest site. Another said he saw ‘hundreds’ ofexpect Fergus Ewing, to grow sustainably. their report unti l in the autumn but hope the MSPs are using the time the evidence inmembers, their inquiry into salmon farming. We don’t 26 22-23 30 Shellfi sh Comment BTA bett er, they could head to Highlands later this month, where Rural Economy and Connecti vity committ ee conti nue to weigh up their inquiry, we have plenty of good stories in our May issue. Even Chris these farms on a daily basis. industry, are in breach of the Code of Conduct for MSPs. As they Barramundi boomUK Martyn Haines European leaders bumpy ti but are always one step ahead. Infarming. thisREC issue of the professional vets and biologists who manage the welfare of committ ee, with their own agendas against the growth of 58-59 Australia Training Sea Mitchell bass 60-63 68-69 51Aquaculture visit ahad farm, like to learn more about the ofthetime become fully acquainted with the facts about fiare shsubject infested salmon inmes awould pen, but we only have his word against that Butto itsalmon should not go unchallenged that some MSPs on the their report unti l inquiry the autumn but hope the MSPs using the Montpellier report Dr Marti n Jaff a Doug McLeod they will meet the aquaculture industry en masse at Scotland’s the evidence in their into salmon farming. We don’t expect Shellfi sh Comment 26 22-23 BTA 30 bett er, they could head to the Highlands later this month, where If the industry is proud of its high standards, as it says it is, it are in a positi on to infl uence the future course of salmon farming, Chris Mitchell we bring news of their latest developments in novel proteins, these farms on a daily basis. industry, are in breach of Code of Conduct for MSPs. As they Barramundi Martyn Haines European leaders their inquiry, we have plenty of good stories in our May issue. Even This month also sees the reti rement of Marine Harvest’s longest of the professional vets andagendas biologists who manage the welfare committ ee, with their own against the growth of the of Aquaculture UK toreport become acquainted with the facts about fiusing sh farming. Australia Training Sea bass boom theirbiggest unti lfithe autumn but hope the MSPs are the ti me Montpellier report Dr Marti n Jaff a fi shfully farming show. Doug McLeod they will meet the aquaculture industry en masse Scotland’s must mount adaily much more robust defence of itself, through its and of vital to Scotland’s economy, we have right alternati ve sh oils and in new methods, and regions, ofathey farming. Iffarms the industry is proud of its high standards, as itsalmon says itlongest is, it are in abusinesses positi on to infl uence the future course ofat farming, Shellfi sh Comment BTA bett er, they could head to Highlands later this month, where serving employee, Steve Bracken. We had no trouble collecti ng Chris Mitchell these on a basis. industry, are in breach of the Code of Conduct for MSPs. As This month also sees the reti rement of Marine Harvest’s Barramundi boom Martyn Haines European leaders to become fully acquainted with the facts about fi sh farming. We will certainly be at Aquaculture UK inindustry, Aviemore and look biggest fish farming show. representati body, the SSPO, than itthe has done tothrough date. to who are, and we hope its We wish you all very happy New Year and asalmon positi ve must mount athey much more robust defence of through its and of businesses vital to Scotland’s economy, we have abeginning right Montpellier report Dr Marti n Jaff a Doug McLeod warm tributes from his friends and colleagues to mark the 28-31 24-25 they will meet the aquaculture industry en masse at Scotland’s 32-33 serving employee, Steve Bracken. We had no ng If the industry isve proud of its high standards, as ititself, says itcollecti is, itThe are in aknow positi on to inflathe uence the future course oftrouble farming, This month also sees reti rement of Marine Harvest’s longest forward to seeing many of you there too. We will certainly be at Aquaculture UK in Aviemore and look campaigners, we now see, will stop at nothing, and farmers ves, will pressure the parliament to investi gate the new decade. representati ve body, the SSPO, than it has done to date. The to know who they are, and we hope the industry, through its milestone and, along with the rest of the industry, thea team atbefore Fish biggest fishtributes farming show. warm from his friends and colleagues to mark the 28-31 24-25 32-33 must mount a much more robust defence of itself, through its and of businesses vital to Scotland’s economy, we have right SSPO Comment Scottish Shellfi sh Sea Farms serving employee, Steve Bracken. We hadtoo. no trouble collecting forward to seeing many of you there should be prepared to fiwe ght back. the REC report isall published. campaigners, we now see, will stop nothing, and representati ves, will pressure the parliament investi gateatbefore Farmer wish him the very best for the future. will certainly be at Aquaculture UK inat Aviemore look milestone and, along with the rest of industry, thefarmers team Fish 28-31 representati ve body, the SSPO, than itthe has done toto date. The toWe know who they are, and hope industry, through its Rising stars Marti nBrown Jaff Orkney anniversary Janet warm tributes from his friends and colleagues to mark the SSPO Comment Scottish 24-25 Shellfi sha Sea Farms 32-33 56-57 should be prepared toyou fivery ght back. the to REC report ispressure published. Farmer wish him all the best for the future. forward seeing many of there too. campaigners, we now see, will stop at nothing, representati ves, will the parliament toand investi gateatbefore milestone and, along with the rest of the industry, thefarmers team Fish Rising stars Marti n Jaff a Orkney anniversary Janet Brown SSPO Comment Scottish Shellfi sh Sea Farms World focus should prepared to fivery ght back. the RECbe report published. Farmer wish himisall the best for the future. Rising stars Marti nBrown Jaff a Orkney anniversary Janet 32-33 26-27 26-30 34-35 North America 28-29 Fish Farmer is now on @fishfarmermagazine 69 64-67 70-73 52-54 32-33 26-27 26-30 34-35 Facebook and Twitter Shellfi sh Cleaner fi sh Scottish Sea Farms Comment Feed Fish Farmer is now on @fishfarmermag 69 64-67 70-73 52-54 Aquaculture UK Nigeria Networking Research Janet Machrihanish Orkney farm visit Marti nBrown Jaff afiSea 58-59 Ben Hadfi eld Facebook and Twitter Shellfi sh Cleaner sh Scottish Farms 32-33 26-27 26-30 Comment 34-35 Fish Farmer is now on Meet the team Boosti ng producti on Dave Conley Chris Mitchell Aquaculture UK 69 Nigeria Networking Research 64-67 70-73 52-54 Contact us Meet the team Janet Machrihanish Orkney farm Marti nBrown Jaff a visit World focus Facebook and Twitter Shellfi sh Cleaner fi sh Scottish Sea Farms Comment Meet the team Boosti ng producti Dave Conley Chris Mitchell Contact us131 Meet theAdvisory team Board: Aquaculture UK on Editorial Advisory Board: Steve Tel: +44(0) 131 551 551 1000 1000 Editorial Tel: +44(0) Nigeria Networking Research Russia 30-33 Janet Machrihanish Orkney farm Marti nBrown Jaff a visit 34-35 28-29 32-33 36-41 Fax: +44(0) 131 551 7901 Fax: +44(0) 131 551 7901 Meet the team on Scott Landsburgh, Hervé Contact Steve Scott Landsburgh, Hervé Migaud, Boosti ng producti Dave Conley Chris81-82 Mitchell Editorial Advisory Board: Steve Tel: +44(0) 131 551 1000 usjhjul@fi MeetBracken, the Bracken, team 76-77 56-59 Feed visitfish Email: email: Jim Treasurer, Chris Mitchell, Migaud, Patrick Smith and Jim 34-35 28-29 32-33 Hervé Migaud, Patrick Smith, Patrick Smith, Jim Treasurer and 36-41 Fax: +44(0) 131 551 7901 Bracken, Scott Landsburgh, Hervé Steve Bracken, Scott Landsburgh, Hervé Migaud, Comment Cleaner Orkney Farm 81-82 Editorial Advisory Board: Steve Tel: +44(0) 551 1000 76-77 56-59 Aquaculture UK 60-61 RAS diets jhjul@fi131 From the Archive Value chains Jason Cleaversmith and Hamish Treasurer, Wiliam Dowds Jim Treasurer and William Dowds William Dowds Patrick Smith and Jim Hervé Migaud, Patrick Smith, Patrick Smith, Jim Treasurer and Fax: email: Marti nofJaff afiera Vaccines New player Dawn new Comment Cleaner sh Orkney 34-35 28-29 32-33 Farm visit +44(0) 131ce: 551 7901 Publications, 36-41 Bracken, Scott Landsburgh, Hervé SteveMigaud, Bracken, Scott Landsburgh, Hervé Migaud, Awards Head Offi Special David Litt le reports Growth in China Developing trends Aquaculture UK 81-82 From the Archive Value chains 76-77 56-59 Macdonell Editor: Jenny Hjul Archive Treasurer, Wiliam Dowds Jim Treasurer andand William William Dowds Marti noffi Jaff a era Vaccines Newvisit player Dawn new Migaud, Patrick Smith Jim Head Offi ce:496 Special Publicati ons, Farm Hervé Migaud, Patrick Smith, Patrick Smith, Jim Treasurer andDowdsemail: Fett es Park, Ferry Road, Comment Cleaner sh Orkney Awards David Litt le reports Growth in China Developing trends Designer: Andrew Offshore in America 34-37 Editor: Jenny Hjul Balahura Editor: Jenny Hjul Aquaculture UK jhjul@fi From the Archive Value chains Fett esOffi Park, 496 FerryPublicati Road, ons, Dawn Treasurer, Wiliam Jim Treasurer and Dowds William Dowds William Dowds Edinburgh, 2DL Head ce:EH5 Special Marti nofJaff a era Vaccines New43-45 player new Adverti sing Manager: Team Leader: 36-39 32-35 34-35 Designer: Andrew Balahura Awards Designer: Andrew Balahura David Litt le reports Growth in China Developing trends Edinburgh, EH5 2DL Feed Editor: Jenny Hjul 91 Fettes Park, 496 Ferry Road, 78-79 63 Dave Edler HeadSubscriptions Office: Special Publications, Adverti sing Manager: Team Leader: 36-39 32-35 34-35 43-45 Commercial Manager: Insectcareers scale-up Wild salmon decline Cleaner fi sh Orkney IoA Edinburgh, EH5 2DL Designer: Andrew Balahura 91 62-63 78-79 63 Retail & Marketing Fettes Park, 496 Ferry Road, dedler@fi Processing & Retail News Dave Edler Janice Johnston The mackerel hypothesis Transport Leask Marine Sti rling students Adverti sing Manager: Team Leader: Wild salmon decline Cleaner fi sh Orkney 36-39 32-35 34-35 Subscripti ons Address: Fish IoA careers 43-45 Edinburgh, EH5 2DL Eat more fish Adverti sing Executi ve: Save Pinneys jobs Carlisle jobs Recruitment challenges Retail & Marketing 91 Subscriptions dedler@fi Processing Processing &News Retail News 78-79 63 jjohnston@fi Dave Edler The mackerel hypothesis Transport Leask Marine Farmer Magazine Subscriptions, IoA Sti rling students Wild salmon decline Cleaner fi sh Orkney Scott Binnie careers Eat more fi sh Adverti sing Executi ve: Young’s new TV campaign Save Pinneys jobs Carlisle jobs Recruitment challenges Subscriptions Subscripti ons Address: Retail & Marketing Processing & Retail News Warners Group PublicatiWyvex ons plc, Sti The mackerel hypothesis Transport Leask Marine sbinnie@fi rling students Scott Binnie Media, FREEPOST RTEY YUBG TYUB, Media, FREEPOST RTEYStreet, YUBG TYUB, Publisher: Alister Eat more fishchallenges Adverti sing Executi ve:Bennett Save Pinneys jobs Carlisle jobs 92-93 Recruitment Subscripti ons West Address: Wyvex Subscriptions The Malti ngs, Bourne 80-81 64-65 Publisher: Alister Bennett Trinity House, Sculpins Lane, Trinity House, Sculpins Lane, WethersMedia, FREEPOST RTEY YUBG TYUB, Media, FREEPOST RTEY YUBGWethersTYUB, 64-65 Scottsbinnie@fi Binnie Lincolnshire PE10 9PH 92-93 80-81 Aqua Source Directory Subscripti ons Address: Wyvex Publisher: Alister Bennett fi eld, Braintree, Essex CM7 4AY fi eld, Braintree, Essex CM7 4AY Trinity House, Sculpins Lane, Trinity House, Sculpins Lane, Tel: +44 (0)1778 392014 Media, FREEPOST RTEY YUBG TYUB, Media, FREEPOST RTEY YUBG TYUB, Aqua Source Directory Find all you need for the industry 92-93 Tel: +44 (0) 1371 851868 80-81 64-65 Cover:Alister Alisonsh Hutchins, Dawnfresh Cover: Steve Bracken explains Lumpsucker Scotti Sea Farms fifield, Braintree, Essex CM7 eld,Subscripti Braintree, Essex CM7 4AY Cover: Inside InnovaFeed -regional the FrenchTrinity Publisher: Bennett ons: £75 a4AY year House, Lane, WethersTrinityUK House, Sculpins Sculpins Lane, WethersFind all you need for the industry industry farming director, on Loch Eti ve. salmon farming to Prince Charles producti on manager for Orkney, Find all you need for the UK Subscripti ons:851868 £75 a year fiCover: rm behind the world’s biggest insect Tel: +44 (0) 1371 Alison Hutchins, Cover: Steve Bracken explains Lumpsucker Scotti sh Sea Farms regional Aqua Source Directory ROW Subscripti ons: £95 a year Picture: Scott Binnie during his visit to Marine Harvest Essex 4AY Richard Darbyshire (left ),Dawnfresh and the fifield, eld, Braintree, Braintree, Essex CM7 CM7 4AY protein factory (photo: InnovaFeed) farming director, on Loch Eti ve. salmon farming to Prince Charles producti on manager for Orkney, ROW Subscripti ons: £95 a year UK Subscripti ons: -£75 a year 82 66 in 2016. Photo: Iainat Ferguson Westerbister Scapa Pier Find 94 all you need for the industry including postage All Air Mail (0) 1371 851868 Cover: Alison Hutchins, Dawnfresh Cover: Steve Bracken Lumpsucker Scotti sh Seateam Farms regional Picture: Scott Binnie during his visit toexplains Marine Richard Darbyshire (left ), Harvest and the Tel: +44 46-47 including postage - All£95 Air Mail 38-41 66 ROW Subscripti ons: a year 40 37 36-37 94 farming director, Loch Eti ve. Pier salmon farming toon Prince Charles producti on manager for at Orkney, 82 in 2016. Photo: Iain Ferguson Westerbister team Scapa Opinion UK Subscriptions: £75 a year Picture: Scott during his visit Binnie to Marine Richard Darbyshire (left), Harvest and the 46-47 postage - All Mail Ltd, Brussels 40 37 36-37 Feed fishconference Nick Joy ROWincluding Subscripti £95 aAir year Printed inteam Great Britain for the the proprietors proprietors Wyvex Wyvex Media Ltd by by JJons: Thomson Colour Printers Ltd, Innovation Cleaner Aquaculture Innovation 94 Printed in Great for Media Ltd Thomson Colour Printers 82 66ByOpinion in 2016. Photo: IainBritain Ferguson Westerbister at Scapa Pier Introducti on GM breakthrough Glasgow ISSN 0262-9615 By Nick Joy Joy Glasgow ISSN 0262-9615 Brussels 46-47 including postage All Air Mail Novel technology Temperature Introducti on By Nick Innovation Cleaner fishconference Aquaculture Innovation Opinion 37 36-37 Printed Printed in in Great Great Britain Britain for for the the proprietors proprietors Wyvex Wyvex Media Media Ltd Ltd by by JJ Thomson Thomson Colour Colour Printers Printers Ltd, Ltd,40 Introducti on Glasgow Glasgow ISSN ISSN 0262-9615 0262-9615 Novel technology Temperature Introducti on Brussels By Nick Joy Innovation Cleaner fishconference Aquaculture Innovation Printed in Printed in Great Great Britain Britain for for the the proprietors proprietors Wyvex Wyvex Media Media Ltd Ltd by by JJ Thomson Thomson Colour Colour Printers Printers Ltd, Ltd, 33

Fair hearing French connection Farmers must fight back Uphold the code Happy new decade! Fair hearing French connection Farmers must fight back Uphold the code Fair French connection Farmers must Uphold the codefight back TIA A hearing





Figure 9. Development of salmon nominal catch in southern and northern NEAC 1971 to 2016. Text at top inserted by author. Filled symbols and darker line southern NEAC.

Figure 9. Development of salmon nominal catch in southern and northern NEAC 1971 to 2016. Text at top inserted by author. Filled symbols and darker line southern NEAC.

Figure 9. Development of salmon nominal catch in southern and northern NEAC 1971 to 2016. Text at top inserted by author. Filled symbols and darker line southern NEAC.

Glasgow Glasgow ISSN ISSN 0262-9615 0262-9615 January.indd Welcome Aug.indd Welcome -- May.indd Sept.indd Oct.indd 33 3

Figure 10. Examples of the young mackerel currently growing up ‘all over’ the North Sea, Norwegian Sea and along the Norwegian coast at the moment. These were caught in a ‘washing set’ by 10. theExamples purse seiner ‘Brennholm’ at an arbitrary west of Lofoten Figure of the young mackerel currentlyposition growing100 up nm ‘all over’ thethe North Sea, Isles in January 2018. thisalong stagethe these small mackerels are moment. competitors to the postsmolt Norwegian SeaAtand Norwegian coast at the These were caught insalmon, a ‘washing later they be seiner both competitors potential predators. and abundant availability set’ by thewill purse ‘Brennholm’and at an arbitrary position The 100 new nm west of the Lofoten Isles in Figure 10.ofExamples of the young mackerel currently growingfeeding up ‘all over’ North Sea, explanation to juvenile mackerel the multi winter salmon areasthe may bepostsmolt a good January 2018. At thisinstage thesesea small mackerels are competitors to the salmon, Norwegian Sea and along the have Norwegian at the moment. Thesedespite were caught in a ‘washing why fishes such acoast good present their early sea growth. laterthe theyMSW will be both competitors andcondition potential at predators. The new andpoor abundant availability set’ by the purse ‘Brennholm’ at an arbitrary position 100 nm west of the Lofoten Isles in Photo JCseiner Holst. of juvenile mackerel in the multi sea winter salmon feeding areas may be a good explanation to January 2018. At this stage these small mackerels are competitors to the postsmolt salmon, why the MSW fishes have such a good condition at present despite their poor early sea growth. later they will be both competitors and potential predators. The new and abundant availability Photo JC Holst. of juvenile mackerel in the multi sea winter salmon feeding areas may be a good explanation to why the MSW fishes have such a good condition at present despite their poor early sea growth. Photo JC Holst.

Introducti on Novel technology Temperature Introducti on

3 3 13/01/2020 18:05:09 16:25:51 09/05/2018 08/08/2018 15:36:28 06/09/2018 16:32:15 04/10/2018 09:15:28

United Kingdom News


Mowi Scotland in new ASC drive for all farms

Above: Mowi Scotland boss Ben Hadfield (right) talks to ASC chief Chris Ninnes at a Mowi farm

MOWI Scotland plans to achieve ASC certification at all its freshwater loch sites this year, along with additional seawater sites. Until the ASC (Aquaculture Stewardship Council) revised its salmon standard last year, many farms in Scotland could not comply because the ASC did not allow the production of salmon smolts in freshwater lochs. Mowi said, in its January newsletter The Scoop: ‘Although there are alternative environments for the smolt production at this stage, such as recirculation units, freshwater lochs are still a big part of our farming business and production strategy in Scotland. ‘Now that the standard that governed freshwater trout production will allow the production

of salmon smolts in freshwater lochs, Mowi Scotland can put a plan in place to achieve ASC certification for all of its sites.’ The ASC commitment is part of Norway based Mowi’s ‘Blue Revolution’ sustainability strategy, launched at the end of 2019, which sets ambitious targets to reduce medicinal treatments, antibiotics, plastic use, waste, and fish escapes, and improve sea survival rates. The ASC standards address the key environmental impacts of farming, set requirements for workers’ rights and protect communities surrounding certified farms. Mowi Scotland technical manager Rory Campbell said: ‘The ASC Salmon and Freshwater Trout standards are the most robust and far reaching environmental and social standards for global aquaculture. ‘As a business, Mowi has globally committed to achieving 100 per cent ASC certification for all our farms. ‘This is a long-term objective and I’m proud to say that in Scotland we have a plan in place for 2020 to expedite certification at a number of our sites and play our part in achieving this vision.’ As part of the ASC roll out for all of Mowi Scotland’s sites, the company has appointed a dedicated certification manager, Samuel Clegg. He has been tasked with the implementation of ASC certification and will help with the audit process and get sites up to speed with the standards, said Mowi.

Following the first round of audits early this year in freshwater, several other farms will be added to the audit schedule throughout 2020. The number of farms put forward for ASC certification will increase through 2021, and the plan is for 100 per cent of Mowi Scotland’s sites to be certified by the ASC. Clegg told The Scoop: ‘I started a couple of months ago and my feet have barely touched the ground! We have an ambitious target and therefore a lot of work ahead of us. ‘I joined from a third party accreditation body, similar to the type that the ASC uses to carry out the auditing process. ‘I also have experience in aquaculture, so I am drawing on all this experience in the lead up to our first audits which will happen at the end of January.’ Campbell added: ‘I firmly believe that the ASC standards drive you to be a better farmer, a better neighbour and have less impact on the local environment. ‘These standards go way beyond local regulation as the auditors look at everything from water quality, environment quality, interactions with wildlife, communication with local communities, disease and lice levels (which must be reported at farm level on a weekly basis). ‘Ultimately, the ASC standard provides reassurance for retailers and consumers that the salmon they are purchasing has been farmed responsibly and sustainably.’

Salmon sector reveals wrasse catch data This includes a minimum and maximum catch size to ensure juvenile and SCOTTISH salmon farmers have for the first time published catch data for breeding age fish are directly returned to their local habitats. wild wrasse, which are fished in inshore waters and deployed to control sea Other measures include a closed season for wrasse fishing which extends lice on farms.The Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation (SSPO), which from December 1 to May 1. represents the sector, said the voluntary publication of wild catch data for According to the new figures, of the 30,564 wrasse recorded as being 2018 will help the sustainability of the fishery. The data is the first to be released since the Scottish salmon farming sector caught in Scottish waters in 2018, 14,786 were returned as undersized and 1,527 were returned as oversized - meaning that 53 per cent of wrasse, live committed to voluntary control measures for the live capture of Scottish caught by Scottish inshore boats, were safely returned to coastal waters. wild wrasse for salmon farms last year. Cleaner fish, have helped reduce the presence of It was collated through the submission of figures sea lice on Scottish salmon farms to their lowest from the first 20 traps lifted weekly by Scottish levels since 2013 and allowed medicinal spends to fall fishing boats providing wrasse to salmon farms. by 47 per cent over the past three years. The salmon The SSPO has already committed to the pubsector has invested more than £15 million in breeding lication of sea lice levels and survival figures on and husbandry programmes since it adopted cleaner farm sites. fish as a sea lice control method a decade ago. In order to sustain a viable fishery, which has All lumpfish used for lice control are now farm boosted the local economies of some of Scotreared, and the continued investment in new wrasse land’s coastal communities by millions of pounds, breeding facilities and programmes should ensure the a voluntary code of conduct is adhered to by all Above: Wrasse fisherman Mark MacLeod reliance on wild fish will diminish in coming years. boats supplying the salmon farming sector.


UK news.indd 4

13/01/2020 16:17:19

All the latest industry news from the UK

Costly escape at high energy site ONE of Mowi Scotland’s high energy sites reported a mass escape before Christmas, the second such incident at the site at Hellisay in the Outer Hebrides. According to Marine Scotland, which collects details of all escapes from Scottish fish farms, 23,970 fish weighing an average 4.5kg escaped in October. The reason given was net failure (not including hole). No fish were recovered. In November 2018, the Barra farm lost 24,572 salmon weighing an average 1.1kg, following winter storms.

Mowi Scotland has established high energy sites off Rum and Muck, and has ambitions to expand production further away from enclosed lochs and into more exposed locations. The most recent escape of almost harvest weight fish would have cost the company around £750,000 at today’s high prices.

Ocean Matters in two million lumpfish milestone

Above: Farmed lumpsucker, playing a significant role in the welfare of salmon

MOWI owned cleaner fish producer Ocean Matters harvested 2,000,000 lumpfish in 2019, a new milestone for the company and a UK record. The Anglesey based firm, acquired by Mowi last year, was set up in 2015 on the site of an old turbot farm and harvested its first lumpfish in 2016. In 2017, Mowi bought the neighbouring farm, Anglesey Aquaculture, which once produced sea bass. It has rebuilt the facility as a ballan wrasse recirculation unit, due to become operational this month. Ocean Matters production manager Daniel Phillips described the lumpfish production as ‘an incredible milestone’. ‘I’m really proud of the team that made it happen, all their hard work and dedication

UK news.indd 5

made this possible,’ he told Mowi newsletter The Scoop. ‘The sustainable production of lumpfish plays a significant role in the welfare of our salmon farmed across Scotland. We look forward to another great year in 2020.’ Dougie Hunter, head of cleaner fish and technical services at Mowi, said of Ocean Matters’ success: ‘What an amazing achievement in our first year. To have a guaranteed supply of cleaner fish is really important for our business because it is an important part of our strategy to control sea lice. ‘In 2020, our aim is to produce even more high quality lumpfish and continue to expand our customer base.’

Global group tackles gill health challenge AQUACULTURE experts from Scotland and Chile have collaborated to tackle the early detection and potential treatment of ‘multifactorial’ gill disease. Caused by a range of bacteria, viruses, parasites, algae and zooplankton, complex gill disease (CGD) is a growing health challenge for salmon across the world. In 2018, a new type of CGD emerged in Chile, resulting in significant gill inflammation among the fish, which progressed unusually quickly and led to stock losses. Following the outbreak at the Chilean farm, researchers from Hendrix Genetics, the University of Edinburgh’s Roslin Institute, and the Institute of Aquaculture at the University of Stirling collected and analysed samples to conduct an in-depth assessment of the developing disease. The Hendrix Genetics team was led by Carlos Lobos Blumenfeldt, and partly funded by the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC). The samples gathered by the team are currently undergoing genomic and transcriptomic analysis at the Roslin Institute. The results could help the researchers to better understand the pathology of the disease and, through genomic studies, determine whether fish with enhanced resistance could be bred in the future. Initial analysis by Noahgene, another project partner, has also suggested an earlier amoebic infection had been largely cleared, while pathogens commonly associated with Complex Gill Disease in Europe were discovered. However, an important finding was very high levels of Tenacibaculum maritimum, a bacterium more usually present in gills damaged by algal blooms. Dr Alastair Hamilton, genomics expert at Hendrix Genetics Aquaculture, said:‘It is most encouraging to have uncovered a finding of such potential significance at this early stage. ‘If this pattern is confirmed in subsequent cases, it could point the way to treatment strategies, including opportunities for selective breeding. ‘By adding to our understanding of these complex pathologies, this opportunity for knowledge exchange through the SAIC project will be of tremendous value to both the Chilean and Scottish aquaculture industries.’

Fantastic feed journey: Page 28


13/01/2020 16:17:42

United Kingdom News

Scottish Salmon Company increases volumes Anderson leaves in Bakkafrost shake-up THE Scottish Salmon Company is on course to produce a healthy 10 per cent plus increase in its harvest volume for 2019. In a trading update by new owner Bakkafrost, the harvest output for the final quarter of the year is 7,900 tonnes gutted weight, an increase of around 900 tonnes on Q4 in 2018. The total for the entire year will be around 33,800 tonnes, compared with 29,900 tonnes 12 months earlier. The Scottish Salmon Company was acquired by Bakkafrost three months ago in a deal worth well in excess of £550 million. The Edinburgh based company’s operating revenues in 2018 came to almost £44.5 million with an EBIT or operating

profit before fair value adjustment of just over £8 million, but as yet no figures are available for the last 12 months. Bakkafrost is also forecasting a much stronger performance for its Faroe Islands based operations, with harvest volumes for 2019 up from 44,500 tonnes to 57,200 tonnes, gutted weight. The figure is about 3,000 tonnes higher than forecast this time last year. The harvest for the final quarter will be 18,000 tonnes, well up on the 2018 Q4 figure of 12,200

tonnes, and feed sales in Q4 2019 were 28,400 tonnes. Bakkafrost also has an attractive employee share savings plan, which it says is designed to strengthen company culture and encourage loyalty, so after a lock in period of two years it is awarding one free share for each share purchased. The current share prices is hovering around the NOK 670 mark (about £58). The full Q4 2019 report will be released on February 25.

First Barcaldine smolts transferred to sea THE first smolts from Scottish Sea Farms’ new £55 million Barcaldine hatchery have been safely transferred to sea pens. The smolts, which arrived at Barcaldine as eggs in January 2019, were hatched and reared using a recirculating aquaculture system (RAS). They had an average weight of 160g – more than double that of smolts grown by the company when using traditional hatchery methods. Scottish Sea Farms’ freshwater manager, Pål Tangvik, said: ‘The new hatchery has given us


UK news.indd 6

greater control over key factors, including water quality, oxygen levels, temperature, light and speed of flow, meaning we have been able to ensure the best growing environment for the salmon. ‘The result is bigger, more robust smolts that will be better able to withstand the natural challenges of the marine environment. ‘We will also be able to shorten the time these salmon will spend at sea by up to two months, which will reduce their exposure to these challenges and increase survival rates.’ The Barcaldine facility, which includes four incubation units and four hatcheries, has taken more than two years to build and is due to have its official opening in 2020. ‘We’ve taken care to make sure we get it right at every stage,’ said managing director Jim Gallagher.

CRAIG Anderson, CEO of the Scottish Salmon Company for the past six years, has stood down following Bakkafrost’s recent purchase of the firm. The managing director of the Faroese producer’s Havsbrun site, Odd Eliasen, has now taken on the role. Eliasen has broad experience in the fish farming industry and has been active in restructuring fish farming in the Faroes, holding various board positions in the industry, said the Scottish Salmon Company. Anderson is credited with creating value for shareholders, and the board thanked him for his ‘valued contribution’ to the business. Following the successful integration into Bakkafrost, SSC ‘will be better placed to pursue further growth opportunities by leveraging its leading position in the Scottish salmon sector and its established premium brands’, the company said. Anderson said:‘Following the completion of the acquisition of SSC, Bakkafrost will take leadership of the company to deliver the growth vision of the enlarged group. ‘I am proud of the entire SSC team and the success that we collectively achieved. It has been a pleasure being the driving force in ensuring that throughout the world, the value of Scottish provenance continues to be recognised.’ Odd Eliasen added:‘Craig’s reputation within SSC and the industry is one of a strong leader with a firm commitment to the company’s stakeholders. ‘I look forward to building on his legacy and maintaining the growth momentum of the company. ‘My near term objective will be Above: Craig Anderson to ensure a smooth integration of the business so the combined company can deliver the strategic synergies that underpinned the rationale for the acquisition.’

UK farmed seafood sales on rise

FARMED seafood sales in Britain are rising at an impressive rate, but the public may not always be aware what they are buying, a new Seafish market insight report found. The report revealed that in the 52 weeks to June 2019 the farmed seafood share of the top five species in the UK totalled 83,301 tonnes and was worth £1.4 billion. In volume terms, aquaculture accounted for 38.2 per cent of the five best selling seafood types, but was worth considerably more - 55.4 per cent - by value over the same period. For seafood species of all types, the farmed share was 46 per cent (£1.6 billion) in value and 31 per cent (just

over 108,000 tonnes) in volume. However, the public sometimes holds mistaken views about which types of fish are cultivated and those that are wild caught. The report said:‘It may be a surprise for UK shoppers to know how much of the seafood they purchase is farmed, and indeed which species are farmed. ‘Many shoppers are aware of the existence of farmed salmon and prawns, but most assume their purchases are wild caught, as it’s not common practice to have ‘farmed’ in a prominent place on front of pack. ‘Shoppers are less likely to associate aquaculture with other farmed species such as seabass, oysters, mussels and turbot.’ It adds:‘It’s a common consumer misconception that farmed seafood is a cheap and cheerful option. In 2019, a number of farmed species had an average price over double that of cod or haddock.‘

13/01/2020 16:18:03

All the latest industry news from the UK

Mentors wanted for women’s network A NEW mentoring programme for women in aquaculture is to be launched in Scotland in 2020. The scheme aims to match some of the most influential leaders in the industry with aspiring women in the sector looking to develop their careers and skills. Women in Scottish Aquaculture (WiSA) is now looking for both mentors and mentees for the initiative, which is government funded and will be delivered in partnership with Skillfluence. Participants will meet in one-to-one sessions over several months to develop skills such as creating a network, making career decisions, cultivating leadership styles, and building confidence. Charlotte Maddocks, co-chair of WiSA and a vet at Mowi Scotland, said: ‘WiSA mentoring is about matching the experience of one person with the potential of another. ‘We are looking for female mentees, as well as female and male mentors, from across the industry who want to make a difference

by taking part in the programme, helping us encourage and nurture aquaculture’s next generation of female leaders. ‘Being a mentor can be an incredibly rewarding experience, contributing to professional development and helping to shape the industry’s future.’ WiSA was formed after a Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC) consultation of 200 people working in the sector found 90 per cent of respondents supported a women’s network. The Scottish government announced £20,000 investment in WiSA at the Association of Scottish Shellfish Growers conference in Oban on October 31. Combined with £30,000 of industry sponsorship, the funding is being used to encourage more women to enter the sector and provide a network across industry and academia. Heather Jones, CEO of SAIC, said: ‘Supporting women in playing a more prominent role in aquaculture is a vital step in helping the

industry to grow. ‘The mentoring programme is the first of many initiatives that will help us to build capacity, confidence and capability amongst women working in Scottish aquaculture.’ If anyone is interested in becoming a WiSA mentor or mentee they can apply to: https://

Above: WiSA launch last year: Graham Black of Marine Scotland, Charlotte Maddocks and Heather Jones

Oral sea lice vaccine feeds hope immune responses in the skin of fish, rather than delivering it AN oral vaccine for sea lice is being developed by a team of through the bloodstream alone. Scottish and international aquaculture experts. Sharing approaches employed to control ticks in agriculThe aim of the project is to produce a vaccine that can ture, the new vaccine aims to directly target the proteins be delivered through feed, following recent advances in the important for the parasite’s survival. understanding of fish immune systems. Dr Sean Monaghan, from the Institute of Aquaculture, said: With funding provided through the Scottish Aquaculture In‘Reducing the impact of sea lice is a major concern for salmnovation Centre (SAIC), partners include Stirling‘s Institute on producers around the globe and we are making headway of Aquaculture, BioMar; the nanoparticle company SiSaf; and towards finding an effective method for vaccinating fish experts in vaccinology,Tethys Aquaculture. against this parasite. The consortium also draws on the expertise of vaccinolo‘There is strong evidence to support the use of an oral gists at the Moredun Research Institute and academic fish vaccination approach, using nanoparticles in feed for vaccine immunologists from the University of Maine in the United delivery in order to trigger the desired antibody response. States. ‘Despite the range of treatment and management tools The cost of sea lice to the Atlantic salmon production inalready in use, sea lice remain a challenge to the industry and dustry is estimated to exceed £50 million per year in Scotincreased parasite resistance to drug land alone. treatment is reducing the effectiveness The parasites are currently managed of these methods. using integrated pest control meas‘Development of a vaccine would ures, including medicines, physical and represent a significant advance in biological tools, and good husbandry on sea lice control, providing a practical, farms. eco-friendly tool for use in an integratDespite existing research and prior ed sea lice control strategy.’ testing of injectable vaccines, sucPolly Douglas, aquaculture innovation cess has so far been limited, with no manager at SAIC, added: ‘Addressing commercial solution currently being environmental and health challengavailable. es, including sea lice, is one of SAIC’s Veterinary medicines continue to priority innovation areas and a crucial be employed for control, but sea lice concern for the global aquaculture are becoming increasingly resistant to industry. treatment. ‘The work of this project correlates The new approach to oral vaccination directly with the Scottish government’s will deliver the vaccine via specially de10-year Farmed Fish Health Frameveloped feeds that aim to improve fish work, aiming to improve fish health, resistance to parasites using advanced protect the marine environment, and nanoparticle technology. ensure Scotland’s main food export Innovative bio-engineering tools will grows sustainably.’ also target sea lice by triggering strong Above: Dr Sean Monaghan

UK news.indd 7


13/01/2020 16:18:25

European News


Norway ‘can hit NOK 200 billion exports within decade’

Above: Renate Larsen

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NORWAY’S seafood chief has said the country has the potential to double its exports to NOK 200 billion a year within the next decade. Renate Larsen was speaking after she revealed that sales in 2019 had hit a record NOK 107.3 billion. The CEO of the Norwegian Seafood Council said: ‘We see an increasing trend, especially among young people, that climate, environment, and health are becoming increasingly important. The willingness to pay for more sustainable food is increasing in most markets. ‘Our surveys and seafood

studies show that consumers around the world already largely perceive seafood from Norway as safe, sustainable and high quality.’ Larsen added: ‘If we are even more able to position Norwegian seafood as the most sustainable choice, our calculations show that the export value can also be doubled over the next 10 years, to NOK 200 billion (£17.2 billion).’ Last year was Norway’s best ever for seafood, with export sales hitting a record 107.3 billion kroner – or £9.25 billion - despite slightly lower volumes. And aquaculture, particularly farmed salmon, was the big money spinner, delivering more than two thirds or NOK 76.5 billion (£6.6 billion) of that total. Seafood analyst Paul T. Aandahl said: ‘In 2019, we saw significant growth in seafood trade between Norway and China. Led by a doubling in the export of fresh salmon, this represents a value increase of NOK 1.5 billion.’ The EU, which will include Britain until the end of January, remained the largest market last year, buying

NOK 68 billion (£5.8 billion) worth of seafood from Norway. However, volumes were down by seven per cent while the overall value rose by four per cent. Poland, with its extensive processing facilities, was the main buyer, followed by Denmark. But China is fast coming up on the rails and is now the seventh most important market for both salmon farmers and white fish companies. Larsen, who has recently returned from a visit to Tokyo, said the Japanese market should not be overlooked. ‘In 2016, we exported well over 34,000 tonnes of salmon. In 2018, that figure dropped to just over 32,000 tonnes. However, the value has remained fairly stable at around NOK 2.5 billion, but we need to sell more salmon to Japan.’ And Tom-Jørgen Gangsø, director of market insight and market access at the Seafood Council, said the latest figures showed that the aquaculture sector had grown by 140 per cent and fishing by 50 per cent over the past eight years.

Norwegian salmon farmers face price-fixing lawsuit NORWEGIAN salmon producers with businesses in North America are facing a potential $500 million class-action lawsuit over price fixing allegations, CBC reported. The Canadian lawsuit, filed on January 3 in Toronto, comes in the wake of other civil actions in the US,

and regulatory inquiries on both sides of the Atlantic. The defendants, who include Norwegian companies Grieg Seafood, Leroy Seafood Group, Mowi, their US and Canadian subsidiaries, and the SalMar and Leroy owned Scottish Sea Farms, all deny wrongdoing.

13/01/2020 16:19:44

All the latest industry news from Europe

Fresh salmon prices reach record high THE price of fresh salmon in Norway soared to a record 78.35 kroner (£6.75) a kilo this month, according to reports. The figure is in complete contrast to the situation last summer when prices dropped close to production cost levels, due mainly to higher output from rival countries. At the time, the industry was worried about a slump in fortunes, but that never materialised. Nevertheless, the price level in the weeks after Christmas, when demand is supposed to have cooled off, is not only remarkable but is the highest so far recorded.

Seafood analysts are predicting record profits for the salmon farming industry in 2020, which should also benefit operations in nearby countries such as Scotland and the Faroe Islands. However, a similar situation was predicted this time last year, but few predicted the mid-summer prices slump waiting around the corner. And if the current upward price trend continues, it is likely to strengthen demand from economists and politicians on the left in Norway to impose higher taxes on the industry. Three months ago, the government was presented with an official committee report recommending a 40 per cent flat rate tax on salmon farming companies, which brought stark warnings that such a move would drive future investment abroad. Although still studying the report, Oslo is thought to be cool on the main recommendation. But politically it may become harder to resist if prices and profits soar this year. The Norwegian Seafood Council is expected to publish the 2019 earnings figure later this month, but they passed the much heralded 100 billion kroner barrier at the end of November.

Norway spells out algae loss recompense NORWAY’S Directorate of Fisheries has laid out details of the compensation it is planning to give those fish farming companies who lost at least 720 million kroner – or £60 million – in the algae outbreak last May. The attack, the worst for almost 30 years, devastated several fish farms in the Nordland and Troms regions, leading to the deaths of 13,500 tonnes of salmon. But the Directorate said the payments would only cover part of the total losses and had been calculated on the maximum allowable biomass. Øyvind Lie, from the Directorate linked Norwegian Coastal and Aquaculture Department, said: ‘We have worked out the figures based on submitted monthly reports. ‘The loss is calculated on the carcass weight of 5 kilos of gutted fish and has received broad support.’ At least eight companies from both regions will receive

European News.indd 9

some form of payment, but it is being reported in Norway that Lerøy Aurora, which lost around 2,000 tonnes of fish, may not receive any recompense because it fell outside the required criteria. The company has yet to comment on the report. Meanwhile, Seafood Norway, the industry employers’ organisation, said improved surveillance contingency plans were now in place to deal more effectively with any

new attacks. Its northern regional director, Marit Bærøe, said it had been very tough for those companies affected. But she believed the industry, thanks to work by the Directorate and the Institute of Marine Research, was now better equipped to deal with any future crisis. Some scientists have suggested that sea warming could lead to more frequent attacks.

Seafood watchdog facing overhaul

NORWAY’S Food Safety Authority, the body whose responsibilities includes regulating health issues on fish farms, is facing major changes following a highly critical report. Following an investigation, the global services and accounting organisation KPMG delivered a potentially crushing verdict on the organisation, essentially saying its systems, planning and monitoring supervision practices were not fit for purpose. KPMG also said that management, the use of resources and some aspects of security were simply not good enough, adding that significant improvements were urgently needed. Seafood Norway, the body which represents fishing and aquaculture companies, has welcomed the report. Its CEO, Geir Ove Ystmark, said Norway had market access to more than 140 countries so it was vital the seafood industry had an efficient and well-functioning food inspection body to watch over catching, processing and the entire value chain in the aquaculture sector. Oslo has already appointed a new chief executive in Ingunn Midttun Godal, who has just taken up her post. She said: ‘The findings in this report are very serious and have revealed systematic weaknesses within the authority. We need to improve the way we work as an organisation. ‘It is too early for me to say why the authority has ended up in this situation. The most important thing for me to say is that we need to do something about it.’ There was a need, she said, to improve dialogue and communication with the industry. To help speed up improvements, Godal said she is setting up a special intervention group. Seafood Norway said it looked forward to a better dialogue in the future, adding it had already received an invitation to meet with the new chief executive.


13/01/2020 16:20:02

European News

Iceland ‘should embrace open sea farming’

Oslo opens way for offshore aquaculture expansion NORWAY has mapped and identified 11 extensive new zones down its 1,650mile long coastline that could be suitable for the future development of sea based offshore aquaculture. The Directorate of Fisheries, which carried out the work in co-operation with the Institute of Marine Research, said the areas will probably have to go through further impact assessment before final approval. The mapping has been limited to parts of the coast one nautical mile outside the baseline, but within Norway’s exclusive economic Above: Harald Tom Nesvik zone. The Institute of Marine Some of the site suggestions Research said it was able to have come from the fish farming provide knowledge on physical industry itself. environmental conditions, ecoThe move is seen as a clear system impact and salmon’s indication that the current Norenvironmental requirements, wegian government is committed which also ensure good fish welto a significant expansion of fare and preventing the spread offshore fish farming over the of infection. coming decade.

The Directorate of Fisheries said: ‘The overall assessment also includes physical environmental conditions set against limit values for good fish welfare. ‘It is not known which technology will possibly be used at sea, and to what extent this will dampen the fish’s experience of the physical environmental conditions inside the facility.’ The proposals have now been sent to the Ministry of Trade and Industry for further consideration. The Directorate also made it clear that it will not complete a survey of all possible marine development areas, adding that others may be proposed in the future. Meanwhile, seafood minister Harald Tom Nesvik has said that the new traffic light system for salmon and trout farming of all types will come into force in the New Year. The scheme pinpoints areas of the coast where aquaculture can and cannot be carried out.

ICELAND has the potential to almost triple its salmon production target if it develops open sea fish farming, a leading authority on aquaculture has suggested. The current government approved target is 50,000 tonnes a year, mostly carried out at traditional coastal or fjord based farms, although production is still well short of that figure. However, aquaculture consultant Friðrik Sigurðsson, who works for the Norwegian seafood development company INAQ, has told Morgunbladid, Iceland’s main newspaper, the country can eventually produce far more than that if companies are prepared to go further out to sea. He suggested salmon could be bred in huge vessels that are able to withstand strong waves, adding that such craft were already in use off Norway and were delivering some promising results. Open sea farming had many advantages over other methods including less risk of lice and pollution, he said. But it was also more expensive because cages needed to be stronger.



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13/01/2020 16:20:47

All the latest industry news from Europe

Mowi makes top team more ‘hands-on’ A SHAKE-UP in the group management team of Mowi, announced last month, sees the company’s global farming operations split between three leaders. Per-Roar Gjerde will be the COO of Farming in the Americas (Canada and Chile) and the Faroes, and will will also lead Farming Norway until a permanent candidate has been found for the position. Ben Hadfield, currently managing director of Mowi Scotland, has been appointed COO Farming for Scotland and Ireland. His role as COO of Feed will now be taken over by Atle Kvist, who has been managing director of Mowi Feed, after joining the group this year from his post as managing director of Ewos Norway. Ivan Vindheim, who recently succeeded Alf-Helge Aarskog as CEO of Mowi, said: ‘Over the past few years, we have seen increasing biological issues and costs in our farming division. ‘It is undoubtedly more challenging to be a farmer today than just a few years back. In order to meet these challenges, we have decided to strengthen the leadership resources in our group management team. ‘I am delighted that Per-Roar Gjerde, Ben Hadfield and Atle Kvist have agreed to bring their extensive expertise and experience to these new positions. ‘This will enable us to adopt an even more hands-on approach in managing our farming entities. ‘We will now begin the job of finding the best candidate to run Mowi

Above: Ivan Vindheim

Farming Norway on a permanent basis.’ The new group management team, effective since January 1, consists of: CEO: Ivan Vindheim; CFO: Kristian Ellingsen; COO Farming Americas and the Faroes, and interim COO Farming Norway: Per-Roar Gjerde; COO Farming Scotland and Ireland: Ben Hadfield; COO Sales and Marketing: Ola Brattvoll; COO Feed: Atle Kvist; chief technology officer: Øyvind Oaland; chief HR officer: Anne Lorgen Riise; chief sustainability officer: Catarina Martins.

Tensions mount between Russia and Norway over salmon shipments ‘We have simply not received any information from Russia itself,’ he said. And the Norwegian Food Safety Authority has said that its home based seafood facilities were always open for inspection. The industry organisation Seafood Norway said the Russian claims were vague and so far undocumented.




Heavy Duty and COMFORTABLE


OSLO is still waiting to hear exactly why Russia suddenly banned shipments of Norwegian salmon and trout through Belarus. The Russians claimed that some of the fish contained banned and harmful substances, but have so far failed to provide further details. Moscow imposed a ban on direct Norwegian fish imports in the summer of 2014 as a tit-for-tat move against Western sanctions following its invasion of Crimea. But it has been continuing to receive Norwegian salmon and trout processed in the former Soviet satellite state of Belarus which, because it is part of a Euro-Asian trade organisation, allows it to get over the ban. Once known as Belorussia, the country is landlocked between Poland, Lithuania and Russia but has an active fish processing sector and is an important customer for Norway. However, while Norwegian and Russian fishery organisations continue close co-operation, relations between the two countries at government level have not always been easy. Last summer, Russia sent back an air shipment of Norwegian salmon bound for China without much of an explanation. Norway’s seafood minister, Harald T. Nesvik, told state broadcaster NRK that the Norwegian Food Safety Authority has been in contact with the Belarusian authorities, asking for information on what harmful substances have actually been found.

Manufacturing in France since 1964



Above: A Norway-Russia border post

European News.indd 11


13/01/2020 16:21:07

World News


Futuristic iFarm will strengthen coastal farming tradition

Above: iFarm monitors each salmon

INDIVIDUALISED fish farming will move a step closer in 2020 as Norwegian producer Cermaq plans a January launch for its iFarm project. The company, which last year won four licences from the

Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries, said the first transfer of fish to sea is planned for autumn next year. Although the four permits will not enable commercial production on the scale Cermaq intended,

the farmer hopes its futuristic concept will strengthen farming in traditional coastal areas. Cermaq and BioSort, the technology specialist behind the iFarm, along with the Directorate of Fisheries, have clarified how the project can be scaled to four development licences. Cermaq fish health manager Karl Fredrik Ottem, who will lead the iFarm project, said: ‘The goal of the project is to develop prototypes with the central functions of iFarm to clarify whether it is technologically possible to operate individual salmon farming in net pens in the sea. ‘An important part

of the iFarm project is to document how the fish’s behaviour and welfare will interact with the new technological solutions and functionalities.’ iFarm, to be launched in Steigen, Nordland county, is based on image recognition and identification of each individual salmon. It means that a fish with, for example, sea lice, can be taken aside for treatment, and the need to handle all fish in the pen is significantly reduced, thus improving fish health and welfare. BioSort has already conducted several tests of the iFarm at the Institute of Marine Research in

Matre. Geir Stang Hauge, CEO of BioSort, said: ‘The key in iFarm is that we monitor each salmon using machine vision, establishing a health record for each individual, and can sort aside the fish that need follow up. ‘This will be useful not only for farmers, but also for authorities and consumers. We are looking forward to getting started, and several new positions will now be filled.’ Cermaq is investing NOK 580 million in the iFarm, and estimates that it will create 17 positions in the company over the six-year trial period. Cermaq’s region-

al director, Snorre Jonassen, who has been central to the design of the project, said: ‘iFarm is being developed locally, we will develop the actual construction in the net pen and machine learning here. This is a great build-up for Cermaq in Nordland and for the entire aquaculture industry.’ The salmon farmer, which is owned by Mitsubishi and also operates in Canada and Chile, said the development of iFarm was ‘a unique opportunity’ for equipment suppliers too. And, if successful, the project would help Norway utilise its natural advantages for salmon production in inshore waters.

Brunei to join land based salmon club


World news.indd 12

food production, addressing the increasing demand from a continuously growing population, while contributing to the food security of the country.’ Pure Salmon plans to build RAS farms all over the world, with a total annual production target of 260,000 tonnes.

Photo: 8F Asset Management

BRUNEI is to become the latest country to establish land based salmon farming, with the announcement of a government funded deal with RAS specialist Pure Salmon. The 10,000 tonne per annum recirculating aquaculture system will cost US $180 million and is being developed in partnership with Brunei’s Strategic Development Capital Fund, Brunei Darussalam. Pure Salmon owner 8F Asset Management said the plant - the first land based salmon farm in South-East Asia - will eventually generate up to 145 local jobs. Staff recruited to the facility will receive training from Pure Salmon’s team of experts, said the company, initially in the existing facility in Poland. As part of the Brunei project, the 8F and Pure Salmon Foundation will implement social and educational initiatives in partnership with local schools and universities to support education in healthy eating and nutrition. Karim Ghannam, board director of Pure Salmon and CEO and co-founder of 8F Asset Management, said: ‘Our aims as a company are to address the supply of clean, healthy, locally produced protein while providing increased opportunities for the local community. ‘The project puts Brunei at the leading edge of innovation in sustainable

Above: Government minister Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Doctor Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew bin Abdullah and Pure Salmon’s Karim Ghannam

13/01/2020 16:22:07

World News

Aquaculture growth a Maine priority THE US state of Maine has announced that aquaculture will be included as a ‘priority pillar’ in its new 10-year strategic economic development plan. Governor Janet Mills has taken a strong stance in support of aquaculture as a means towards economic development in Maine, according to a report by Intrafish. The plan presents an optimistic view, particularly of the prospects for attracting RAS systems. ‘Maine is well positioned, based on its geographic location, to become a global leader in land based aquaculture,’ said Mills. ‘Our state has the potential to attract a combined investment of more than $450 million in land based aquaculture projects. ‘This will create high-wage jobs in addition to supporting local trades people and businesses, driving the sales of goods and services, and infusing money into our small-town economies as these facilities are built and maintained.’ The plans were described as ‘thorough and thoughtful’ by Jacob Bartlett, CEO of Whole Oceans, which hopes to produce 5,000 tonnes a year at its Above: Janet Mills

proposed farm. ‘Maine’s diligence in helping (us) obtain permits as well as its timely permitting processes will allow Whole Oceans to break ground on its (RAS) salmon project by the spring of 2020 at the former Verso Paper Mill site in Bucksport, Maine. ‘Maine aquaculture will grow and flourish due to the state’s fishing heritage and its reputation for high quality seafood products produced in proximity to the ever growing New England seafood market. ‘Maine is an ideal location for RAS farming of Atlantic salmon. Over the next few years we look forward to producing sustainable Atlantic salmon, developing training programmes with local institutions and providing a variety of jobs in the Bucksport area.’ Other companies investing in land based farms in the state include Nordic Aquafarms, which aims to produce 16,000 tonnes of salmon at its $500 million Belfast (Maine) farm, and the Netherlands based outfit Kingfish Zeeland, which chose Jonesport (Maine) for its $110 million project last year.

Chilean feed firms face price fixing fines CHILE’S competition regulator Fiscalia Nacional Economica (FNE) has accused the Chilean divisions of BioMar, Skretting and Salmofood of engaging in price fixing between 2003 and 2015, as it presented a case against them at the antitrust court Tribunal de Defensa de la Libre (TDLC). The FNE has asked the TDLC to issue the maximum fines possible to the three companies, which would add up to a combined total of US$70 million. The Ewos Group acted as the ‘whistleblower’ in the case, and to reflect this the FNE has requested that the company, now part of Cargill, receive an exemption from the fines. Ricardo Riesco, the head prosecutor, said that the Ewos ‘confession’ to being part of the cartel was the starting point for the investigation. ‘The FNE requested this fine due to the seriousness and temporary extension of the agreement since the required companies are the only ones that sell salmon food in Chile, so their customers had to pay the cartel prices because they did not have alternative offers.’ Cargill said: ‘We were informed of practices throughout the salmon feed industry in Chile that were inconsistent with Cargill’s competition policy and possibly violated Chile’s competition law.’

Netwax E4 Greenline Netwax E4 Greenline offers excellent protection against fouling on pen nets ► Powerful waterbased antifouling that offers excellent protection against fouling ► Protects against UV radiation ► Keeps nets soft and pliable ► Controlled leaking of the active ingredient, which is approved by Ecocert (Institute for Marketechology) and listed by OMRI (Organic Materials Review Institute)

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World news.indd 13


13/01/2020 16:23:10

World News

Lake Kariba drought damages tilapia farms

THE worst drought to hit southern Africa in 40 years in causing suffering for tilapia farmers on Lake Kariba. The dwindling water levels mean that access to electricity is becoming more sporadic and sites for operations are becoming scarcer. Low rainfall over the October 2018 to March 2019 wet season had already caused the lake to drop to 30 per cent of its maximum capacity by August of last year.

By December, the level had dropped to just 10 per cent, the lowest total recorded since 1996. Speaking to The Fish Site, a spokeswoman for Lake Harvest Aquaculture, Tariro Chari, said that the reducing lake levels were a cause for concern on many fronts. ‘For all our land operations, water is pumped from the shoreline. This shoreline was 500 metres from our farm at the end of August 2018.

Sixteen months later, the shoreline is now more than two kilometres away. ‘With the rainy season only just beginning and any inflows into the lake only expected in April 2020, this shoreline will continue to recede. ‘As the water recedes, the pump station must be moved at great cost. It also means that the oxygen, pH and water temperature levels start to deteriorate from the ideal conditions for fish breeding, growing and handling. ‘To mitigate this, booster pumps have to be installed, the ponds have to be aerated and water quality checks have to increase.’ She added: ‘Less water increases the likelihood of predators like crocodiles and hippos accessing the cages. ‘It also increases the disease pressure on the entire water body and reduces the oxygen available to all animals that make use of the water body.’

Broken cage blamed for 23,000 escaped salmon in Chile THE Chilean fishing and aquaculture authority Sernapesca reported that 23,000 coho salmon escaped from a Cermaq site in the Quemchi region in Chiloe. Sernapesca was originally given notice of an alleged escape on December 22, prompting an inspection on the Caucahue salmon farm, owned by Cermaq. After a breakage in the cage was identified, Cermaq was instructed to count the number of fish involved and to commence recapture measures. The company subsequently managed to recapture 5,050 of the escaped fish and reported the escape on its website on December 30. The site had already started harvesting and so the fish were of a commercial size.

Above: Coho salmon

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World news.indd 14

13/01/2020 16:23:41

All the latest industry news from around the world

Trudeau presses ahead with net pen ban

CANADIAN prime minister Justin Trudeau has instructed his recently appointed fisheries minister, Bernadette Jordan, to instigate a plan to end all net pen farming in British Columbia before the end of 2025. In his letter to Jordan, Trudeau listed 11 priority tasks for the minister which he said ‘draw heavily from our election platform commitments’. He said Jordan should ‘work with the province of British Columbia and indigenous communities to create a responsible plan to transition from open net pen

salmon farming in coastal British Columbia waters by 2025 and begin work to introduce Canada’s first ever Aquaculture Act’. There was no mention of closed containment in the instruction. Canada’s fish farmers have already condemned the policy. Timothy Kennedy, president and chief executive of the Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance (CAIA), was scathing about the new development. ‘This is a reckless policy, not grounded in science, and it will threaten good middle-class jobs across Canada.’

One dead, two hurt in BC fish farm incident

ONE man died and two others were injured following an incident at a Cermaq fish farm on British Columbia’s Vancouver Island. Cermaq Canada has confirmed the death

and said it notified the Canadian Coast Guard immediately. ‘We are extending our heartfelt condolences and support to the family and friends of our employee,’ said the

World news.indd 15

company in a statement. ‘We are providing resources and support for our employees and families as they work through this tragic and difficult time.’


13/01/2020 16:24:03

Industry platform – Mowi Scotland


Leave our farms alone It’s time for government to protect rural workers’ rights from protesters


Photo: Mowi

S activists continue to sidestep the democratic process in favour of interrupting work spaces, governments must step up to protect the health and safety of employees working within the laws of the country. A recent court decision in Scotland awarded an interim interdict (aka injunction) to Shell, intended to protect its work sites from trespass by Greenpeace members. The judge ruled that Greenpeace was unlawfully breaching Shell’s property rights and also putting its own activists’ safety at risk. The decision mirrored that of a Canadian injunction against activists received by Mowi (then Marine Harvest) in 2018 that was required to protect the health and safety of its employees and livestock. But this issue should be dealt with long before having to be heard in court. There are democratic processes made available by all governments where salmon farms operate for people opposed to salmon farming to voice their concerns. Furthermore, government authorities are paid by working people to protect citizens and domestic food products. Or put more clearly: farmers and the animals they raise should be protected by government authorities from the health and safety threat


Industry Platform.indd 16

posed by direct action protesters (many living outside the country where they protest). The democratic process In response to a low return of Fraser River sockeye salmon on Canada’s west coast in 2009, anti-salmon farming activists pressed for a government inquiry. They got one, called the Cohen Commission. Two years and $30 million (CDN) later, the Commission detailed 75 recommendations to improve the sockeye salmon’s survival. Specific to salmon farming, Cohen concluded that ‘data presented during this Inquiry did not show that salmon farms were having a significant negative impact on Fraser River sockeye’, and that ‘marine conditions in both the Strait of Georgia and Queen Charlotte Sound in 2007 were likely to be the primary factors responsible for the poor returns’. The following year, the Fraser River recorded its highest return of sockeye salmon in a century. Similarly in Scotland, the angling body Salmon & Trout Conservation demanded that government impose a moratorium on salmon farming. In response, the Scottish parliament’s Rural Economy and Connectivity (REC) committee launched a review into the ‘environmental impacts of salmon farming’ in 2018. The REC expressed concern about the ability of the country’s regulatory framework to adequately manage potential negative impacts from salmon farming, and while requesting changes to current farming practices, stopped short of recommending a moratorium, noting ‘insufficient evidence to support this’. This is the democratic process – allowing for all stakeholders to provide input into a science led initiative upon which reasoned policy decisions can be made.

Left: An activist ‘sits in’ at a farm in British Columbia, Canada. Safety gear was provided by site workers. Opposite: A photo

published on Facebook by Sea Shepherd, claiming to be that of a dogfish snared in an aquaculture net - note

the large knife wound in the side of the fish and the lack of abrasion around the neck area and netting.

13/01/2020 16:14:09

An activist ‘sits in’ at a farm in British Columbia, Canada. Safety gear was provided by site workers. (photo credit: Mowi)

Leave our farms alone

Influence by direct action Shortly after Canada’s Cohen Commission published its final report, salmon farmers in British Columbia witnessed direct action on their businesses. Organised by the international protest group Sea Shepherd, activists began trespassing on salmon farms, threatening the health and safety of both fish and employees. One farm saw a group of protesters set up camp for 16 weeks on the floating walkway of Note the large knife wound in the side of the sh and the lack of abrasion around the neck area and a salmon cage, blocking access to, and fouling, netting. (photo credit: Sea Shepherd) the work site. After pleading, unsuccessfully, with government authorities to protect its employees from harassment, the company was forced to seek protection through the courts. Only after the injunction was received, did the protesters vacate the private work place. son’s modus operandi, fish farmers have - like many other food producers Five years of direct action protests in British - fallen victim to embellishments at best and flat out lies at worst. Columbia have, to a great extent, served Salmon farmers, like all farmers, experience challenges that must be their purpose. Coupled with targeted political overcome. We are not above fair and honest criticism. We make mistakes influence from the social elite in Vancouver, and must own our mistakes, correct them, and work to ensure we operand philanthropic support to Canadian activist ate to the highest standards possible. groups and individuals from US based foundaBut when activists stage events, manipulate images, or use publicly tions, political backing for salmon farming in the available statistics (salmon farming is among the most transparent food region has been severely damaged. production in the world) to twist fact, it should raise serious alarm bells Most recently, Justin Trudeau’s Liberal govern- at all levels of government. ment took a turn-about-face. Four years ago, A photo published on Facebook by Sea Shepherd, claiming to be that of the Liberals were very clear about their support a dogfish snared in an aquaculture net, was quickly debunked by Canadifor Canada’s salmon farmers and science, statan fish farmers. The fish was previously killed and placed in the net. ing that: ‘Legislating the removal of salmon aqI could, unfortunately, fill an entire magazine on the spin, lies and misuaculture from Canada’s oceans represents an representation about our sector that I have witnessed over my 26-year excessive approach to resolving environmental career. issues that are already being managed through Some are big ones, but most are small ones that fly under the rarobust, science based federal and provincial dar; over time, they can add up to create the ‘overwhelming body of regulations.’ evidence’, providing juicy content to naive journalists and social media, However, at the 11th hour before the latest that influences public perception, that pressures politicians into making Canadian election, that saw the Liberals decisions based on perception rather than science and fact. reduced to a minority government, the party And let’s not kid ourselves – direct action protest and political influence pledged to transition all ocean fish farms in Brit- has worked to erode public confidence in our sector. Science-be-damned ish Columbia to land based facilities by 2025. political decisions regarding aquaculture have now been prescribed for The pledge strongly mirrored the words of the Washington (USA), British Columbia (Canada) and Denmark. ‘Wild First’ activist group, formed by wealthy businessman and salmon angling lodge owner Inspect and report Tony Allard. Not unrelated, another business Salmon farming companies in Canada and the UK average about one entity of Allard’s is seeking over $1 million in inspection daily over the course of a year. Facilities are inspected by government funding … to build a 150 acre onqualified professionals, accredited non-governmental organisations and land aquaculture business. government authorities. It is not for unqualified activists to ‘inspect’ salmon farms. To satisfy its End justifies the means? obligations to regulators and the Crown, a company’s staff and livestock Sea Shepherd skipper Paul Watson has said: must be safeguarded from potential hazardous interference. ‘Truth is irrelevant… A headline comment on It is now time for government authorities to step up and protect their Monday’s newspaper far outweighs the revela- own turf: monitor and regulate a business the nation has permitted and tion of inaccuracy revealed in a small box inside endorsed, and also protect the country’s workers and the food they the paper on Tuesday or Wednesday.’ produce. If campaigns against salmon farming were based on facts, I wouldn’t be writing this article. Ian Roberts has been salmon farming in Canada and the UK for 26 Sadly, but not surprisingly given Captain Watyears. He is director of communications at Mowi Scotland. FF

Photo: Sea Shepherd

Unfortunately, some stakeholders refuse to accept a science led democracy, and have since taken to other means of influencing government policies.

A headline in Monday’s newspaper far outweighs “the revelation of inaccuracy in a small box inside the paper on Tuesday or Wednesday ”

Industry Platform.indd 17


13/01/2020 16:14:27

Trade Associations – Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation


Double vision Scotland must champion the coastline’s working communities and their economic importance as well as the lovely views


Power the giftie gie us ‘OTowadseesome oursels as ithers see us! ’

HIS year has been designated Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters. The VisitScotland website has a sizeable section devoted to it. Silhouettes of rocky shorelines vie with images of sun kissed beaches, while visitors are encouraged to try everything from kayaking to cleaning shorelines of litter. All through the site, though, there are beautiful pictures of Scottish seafood – each one showing glistening slices of smoked salmon. The food that comes from our shores is, quite rightly, a key part of the campaign. Much is made of the langoustines, the mussels, the oysters and, yes, the salmon that is produced in Scotland to global renown, all of which tempt visitors from all over the world. This is as it should be and this is why Scotland’s salmon sector applauded the plan to champion our coasts and waters when the initiative was announced last year. And yet – and this is where those lines of Burns come in – not everyone sees us in the way we do ourselves. At the launch event it was clear that, for some people, the Year of Coasts and Waters was not about the people who live and work along our shorelines farming our salmon, it was actually about a fanciful image of a pristine and untouched landscape and, more than that, represented yet another excuse to attack salmon farming. In the farmed salmon sector, we see our role as a sustainer and supporter of local communities, as an economic driver behind fragile coastal areas. But it is now clear, not only that there are some who see us in a completely different light, but who want to use the Year of Coasts and Waters to collect information which they then hope can be used to put a fresh squeeze on our sector. Some pressure groups want so-called citizen scientists to dive around the coast during this year-long programme. Divers are being encouraged to gather video evidence from around – and even underneath – salmon pens which can then be used to attack us. It is irresponsible and reckless for anyone to suggest such a stunt and it would be incredibly dangerous for anyone to attempt it. But this is the situation we now find ourselves in.


SSPO.indd 18

Where we see ourselves as an integral and supportive part of Scotland’s coastline, others see us as a disruptive intruder. VisitScotland came up with the idea of Year of Coasts and Waters to promote a key part of the tourist network and, as a visitor initiative, it seems to be a good one. I’m sure, as far as our tourist body in concerned, the scenery and activities along Scotland’s coastline represent one side of the coin, and the quality food and drink produced along those shorelines represent the other. VisitScotland expects visitors to enjoy the coastline and then feast on its seafood. What nobody anticipated was for some pressure groups to accept one side of the coin but not the other and hijack this campaign for a thinly veiled bout of anti-salmon farming activism – but that’s where we appear to be going. This split over the Year of Coasts and Waters actually highlights a much wider divide which has already brought tension to communities up and down the west coast. There is mounting anecdotal evidence of a simple demographic division over salmon farm developments between long standing local families and newly arrived retirees. It is in no way definitive, but there is increasing evidence that in some areas, local families, particularly those with children in desperate need of an income, back salmon farms while incoming Opposite: Salmon farm retirees oppose them. This is the same divide highlighted by the VisitScotland campaign: between those who live and work along our shorelines and those who want to look out on them, free from any economic activity whatever. We in the farmed salmon sector know our val-

13/01/2020 16:12:26

Double vision

ue to fragile local economies. We know how important the jobs are that we provide, the money we inject into local economies, the houses we build, the broadband we supply, the services we offer – often for free – and the communities we sustain. We are an absolutely central part of Scotland’s coastal communities and, as such, we have to be fundamental to any campaign championing our coasts and waters. And while it can be baffling for us to come across others who not only don’t see it this way, but believe that a campaign to promote our coastlines should be used to attack us, we have to accept that there is a major division here which will take some time to fix. So while it would be tempting to seize on a line used by Burns elsewhere in that poem and tell our critics ‘Gae somewhere else and seek your dinner’, we would be far better to take the Bard’s concluding advice in that poem.

SSPO.indd 19

There is evidence that local families in need of an “income back salmon farms while incoming retirees oppose them ”

In To a Louse, he tells us that, if we were ‘to see oursels as ithers see us’ then ‘It wad from mony a blunder frae us, and foolish notion’. In other words, it is only by recognising the huge disparity between our view of the world and that promoted by others that we can take the first steps to sorting this out. Only by understanding where they are coming from and what they want will we be able to counter the narrow and idealised view of the world they have adopted. In this instance, it means throwing ourselves into the Year of Coasts and Waters campaign, aware that some people will dislike us for doing so but knowing that only by celebrating the key role we play in Scotland’s coastal communities – while acknowledging their opposing view – will we encourage a more balanced understanding of what is really going on along our coasts. FF Hamish Macdonell is director of strategic engagement at the SSPO


13/01/2020 16:13:10



Don’t shoot the

messenger! Campaigners should focus on the problem not the press


FIRST became aware of Fish Farmer magazine in 1978 while working for Unilever Research at their fish cultivation unit near Aberdeen, in a summer job when a student. If I remember correctly, Fish Farmer was then an offshoot of Farmers Weekly and the first one I saw was part of Volume 1. The last issue of 2019 was Volume 42. Fish Farmer magazine has been pretty much a constant throughout most of my career in the fish farming industry, despite much change elsewhere. While Fish Farmer has endured, other magazines and newspapers have disappeared. I suspect this, in part, was due to the arrival of the internet, but also because there has been so much consolidation in the UK aquaculture industry. Many reading this may not remember other publications, such as Fish Farming International and Scottish Fish Farmer, or that web based IntraFish was once sent out by fax. Some may not even know what a fax is. My first appearance in print was in September 1982 (Volume 5 No 7) with a two-page article explaining why carp could be a profitable


Martin Jaffa.indd 20

venture within the wider agricultural sector. This holds as true today as it did then, as the demand for live table fish from the ethnic community remains undiminished. Although I wrote a number of articles for Fish Farmer, my first regular column was in Scottish Fish Farmer. With my changing interests, this column took a wider look at what happened to the fish once they had been harvested. Unfortunately, while this may seem an uncontentious subject, my views at the time upset those working in the Scottish Salmon Growers Association. I remember clearly what I wrote: ‘Perhaps the salmon industry should start to produce the salmon the market wants rather than those that the producers think that the market wants.’ At the time, the emphasis was on the production of whole fish, yet research had shown consumers preferred to buy fillets and steaks. The SSGA approached the editor and suggested that if he didn’t remove my column, he might find it difficult to obtain any future advertising. Thus ended my short newspaper career, but out of its ashes new opportunities arose. It was suggested to me that if I kept quiet for a year, my views would be long forgotten; however, they weren’t, so in January 2000 I thought I would try to circulate a views-letter. reLAKSation is now 20 years old and has outlasted those who tried to stifle open comment. A visit to any retailer shows that the focus on

Most of the attacks come from those connected to sports fishing

13/01/2020 16:09:35

Don’t shoot the messenger!

Above: Christmas food

with salmon fillet. Opposite: Dr Martin Jaffa’s carp feature

all fresh salmon is now the fillet. Whole fish have almost disappeared from the fish counter, except at Christmas. A few years ago, Fish Farmer’s editor asked if I would like to write something for the magazine and I accepted. I hope my views have remained of interest as we enter another new decade. As I mentioned, Fish Farmer magazine remains a constant and a welcome one at that. However, even this constancy has been forced to adapt. Many years ago, Fish Farmer was one of the main sources of news about the industry. In fact, there was very little other way to find out what was happening. It seems rather mad now that subscribers had to wait two months (in the days before the magazine became monthly) for news to appear, especially in this day and age when news is almost instant. Consequently, Fish Farmer has evolved into producing more in-depth analysis and comment, which is something that the internet often lacks. However, such analysis and comment can come at a price. Those with a negative attitude to fish farming are quick to spread their negativity across social media. Fortunately, their comments do seem to be restricted to a small audience of similar minded people, rather than reaching a wider public audience. As I write this piece, one of the more vocal critics has published an attack on this magazine’s editor. It is typical of those opposed to fish farming that they prefer to make personal attacks on those who promote the industry, rather than actually address any issues of concern. Most of the attacks come from those connected to sports fishing for they blame salmon farming on the decline of wild stocks. They fail to appreciate that killing over 5.9 million adult breeding fish for sport will eventually also have an impact on how many fish are left in Scottish rivers. For them, it is easier to blame others than

Martin Jaffa.indd 21

accept that they are a major part of the problem. Those working in the industry know and understand that the analysis and comments provided about fish farming in this magazine have real substance and are not just some attempt on spin. This is why Fish Farmer magazine has been such a success over many years. I am pleased to have been able to play a small part in the magazine’s success and I know that the future of Fish Farmer will be a reflection of the success of fish farming, and aquaculture in general, across the UK and beyond. FF


Fish Farmer VOLUME 42


Serving worldwide aquaculture

since 1977


Sandy Neil reports on advances in ADD technology


Can the industry still meet 2020 deadline?





Aquaculture Europe 2019 exceeds expectations


Launching monthly round-up of latest products and services

Fish Farmer VOLUME 42




Serving worldwide

aquaculture since 1977


CONTAINMENT FOCUS Sandy Neil reports in ADD technology

November Cover.indd

on advances

Can the industry still 2020 deadline?




2019 Aquaculture Europe ns exceeds expectatio


round-up of Launching monthly services latest products and


04/11/2019 16:42:36

04/11/2019 16:42:36

ONLY £33.75 for DD for non DD (Including P&P) November Cover.indd



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13/01/2020 16:10:34

Trade Associations – Association of Scottish Shellfish Growers

Trade Associations – ASSG


Cultivating growth New year, new focus But new legislation needed to overhaul flawed planning rules

Government must create right environment for small rural businesses to thrive OOKING back, 2017 was a packed year both for shellfish cultivation ‘positive ecosystem services’. So it would seem


and the wider world. Our conference at the end of October seems a distant memory, but I would hope that all those who made it to Oban THE year past has been a difficult one to characterise in terms of progress will have gained some lasting value from the trip. with shellfish cultivation aspirations in Scotland. The politics of Brexit seem We are grateful to the Rural Economy minister, Fergus Ewing, for opening to have stymied any logical debate with respect to desired interventions the event with a positive description of our sector within the wider Scottish from the public sector and agencies, and also evidenced in the UK by the aquaculture winding downindustry. of EU structural investment. There is no doubt that theatsupport Scottireported sh government in helping The ASSG Oban conference the endofofthe October, in the December producers be part ofathe ruralofeconomy welcomed, a good working issue of FishtoFarmer, had theme resilience.isWas there anand overall take home relati onship can be maintained to assist with future sustainable development. message from this theme for the Scottish shellfish sector? It did my strike me in listening to the whether shouldpeople be making a From perspective, it was this: weminister have talented andwe tenacious case for shellfi cultivati on to be recognised its own right and notand to be engaged in the sh running of our shellfish cultivationinand supply businesses subsumed the general title Scotti shpublic aquaculture. they need allwithin the support they can getoffrom the sector if the real potential

appropriate that we should be seeking such a recognition of positive benefits within our regulatory survival and performance. and administrative system for the development of The important point is that we have not spent shellfish cultivation within Scotland. enough time or resources on understanding the Such an approach could provide the added basic biology of a species upon which we have impetus business investment become Inencourage this respect,private we need to ensure in shellfi cultiwith vatiall on,our while recognising we continue tosh work international col-the wider benefi t to society of such the actidynamics vities andoffacilitati ng leagues in seeking to understand a additi onal public sector engagement and support. humble species and its environmental interactions. worth remembering the fundamental AgainstIt aisbackground of climate change, I fear that benefit of shellfi on- that ofmore producing we have made sh thisculti taskvati considerably difficulta high qualitymore protein food source with a carbon and equally important. The question is how footprint much far of alower priority canterrestrial we make such an issue on on. than livestock producti any national orhas international It also the addedpolitical benefiand ts ofgovernproviding many ance agenda? essential vitamins and minerals and the right profile In Scotland it does that wehealth. have so far of oils to assistappear our lifeti me failed toEven adequately describe and quantify these more important in a business context is, of benefits for the appropriate policy makers. course, that it is a highly sought after food, to be enWe are faced a period unprecedentjoyed forwith the taste andoffeel good factor alone!

of such production is to be realised. Hopefully, some of the excellent presentations from home and abroad will Positi ve achievements have at least ‘fakeof news’ and ‘naysayer’ views on shellfish consumpThere haverevised been athe range achievements for individual producers, often as tion, impacts of cultivation and the state of the marine environment. a result of strategic investment. The European Maritime and Fisheries Fund Equally,strategic they showed thathas there is a well real appetite those actually (EMFF) funding been used by from our sector and hasproundoubtedducing, rather than simply talking about, opportunities to further ly encouraged further private investment from businesses. develop production and deliver employment, health, biodiversity, water quality, nutrition, But looking forward, it is now just next year that our withdrawal from the economic and carbon footprint benefits, and ensure supplies of bivalve shellfish ed change in our operational as well as natural EU will become a reality. (We will not, of course, be withdrawing from Europe are widely available and accessible to all. environment, which will play out over several as geographically we are all united by physical proximity, and in the marine Sustainability accreditation Shellfish have a clear role in the mitigation of the overall impacts of climate generations. It will require a concerted effort by In relation to the general consumer expectation environment this counts for a lot!). change – some countries are already exploring the opportunities, and the industry to convince our politicians of the positive of environmental sustainability it has also been exHence, the questi on has to be, when it comes to strategic investment what lessons learnt need to be considered and acted on by others. and innovative role shellfish cultivation businesses needs to replace the EMFF type approach within Scotland to conti nue to see tremely that Scotti mussel The day before the conference saw a North can play, both inencouraging the rural economy and sh in the widerproducti on has achieved a world fi rst. Hebridean mussels shellfish cultivation prosper? Atlantic and European Mussel Organisanational interest. wereisawarded the In part, the answer relates to the administrati ve andworkshop businessbeing planning frametion (NAEMO) hosted Industry well placed toAquaculture be innovativeStewardship in the way Council work we currently operate under, through with the various requirements of site certification for their issues. cultivated shellfiwhat sh, a standard the assistance of Marine it can overcome operational However, that authenti both theismethod selection, consents to operate, lease agreements, physical locationtogether and public Scotland. This brought is required is a publiccates sector which also ableof toproduction and environmental safeguards. infrastructure (piers, roads, ferries and so on). all those researchers and react in time to the challenges that environmental These all greatly influence the ability for what are, primarily, Thisbring, now and means that the vast majority agencies withinsmall the area change will be prepared to adapt to of mussels in the health of evolving circumstances and invest accordingly.through one or produced in Scotland are accredited rural businesses to operate and contribute to the interested wider community Left: Shucking oysters other of the independently verified schemes. and rural economy in a highly sustainable way. blue mussel stocks and Opposite: Judges at the the linkages to aquaculInvestment In determining what public investment may be required to help Withbreeds majorsuccess retailers now being able to supply ASSG conference’s ture production. Onetheir of ourconsumers nearest neighbours has pursued with products havingaasimiknown facilitate this we need to consider the wider public administrati ve shellfish competition In general, the perceplar path to Scotland in developing rural employment system that private businesses are currently having to work under, sustainability profile, there is a positive outlook in tion that even with a through aquaculture production. But outcomes and whether through changes it could yield benefits forisbusinesses without securing greater sales of Scotti sh shellfish. widely distributed species are surprisingly different. BIM, the Irish Seafood over reliance on public finance. such as Mytilus spp there Development Agency, recently published their Producer responsibilities are recurring themes Aquaculture Report 2019 as part of the National Environmental credentials On a less positive note, all ASSG members were becoming evident in the Seafood Survey. notified of the recent identification of oyster herpes One of the better headlines we attracted last year was ‘How mussel farms wild populations which may be It makes interesting reading from a bivalve can boost biodiversity’ and a description ofpart research to evaluate virus in the lastin‘approved zone’ producti Above: Fergus Ewing; lastshellfish of natural cycles orhow couldmussel be perspective, terms of similarities and on area for longlines can have a positive impact onsigns the range of species within a farm site. Pacifi c oyster in Northern Ireland. year’s Oban conference; of stressors having an impact on disparities.

Last year, I made a trip down to the Holmyards’ mussel farm (Offshore Shellfi 22 sh) and saw for myself the scale of the developments off the Devonshire coast. It is good to see that the impacts have been rigorously documented and reinforce what we already intuitively know – that, in the right location, shellfish cultivation has a range of positive benefits. Shellfish.indd 22 It could easily be argued that such developments are providing, in tech speak,

Consequently, there should be no movement of ASSG award winners stock for on-growing or placing in Scottish waters Richard Tait, Judith Vajk and as they are currently all approved to be clear of this Craig Archibald. Opposite page: Pacific oysters shellfish disease. Fish health monitoring and control systems are in 13/01/2020 16:07:41 place specifically to protect the industry from dis-

New Year, new focus

Species are identical, with blue mussel, Pacific oyster and native oyster comprising 57 per cent, 42 per cent and one per cent of volume respectively. However, unlike Scotland, where the wild blue mussel was owned by the Crown Estate (now Scottish government and not currently exploited), 19 per cent of Irish mussel volume is generated from seabed stock. Hence, 38 per cent is rope grown mussels – which at just over 9,000 tonnes (worth 5.9 million euros) is less than their production of Pacific oyster. Pacific oyster outputs stand at just over 10,000 tonnes with a national value of around 44 million euros, which equates to 76 per cent of total shellfish production value. Compare this to the Scottish industry, which started at around the same time and which produces just over 300 tonnes valued at around £1.5 million at first sale, and rope mussels at just over 9,000 tonnes and £7.8 million. Employment in the Irish oyster sector equates to just under 650 full time equivalents through 139 businesses. In Scotland, the mussel and oyster sectors combined employ 137 full time and 161 part time and casual workers through 130 businesses. In Ireland, oyster production is limited by the availability of licensed ground and is currently at maximum capacity. In terms of the market, the

Shellfish.indd 23


of dealing with various elements of the public administration is a substantial barrier to progress

sector also differentiates between triploid and diploid production. Nearly 90 per cent is triploid which attracts a price premium of almost 1,100 euros per tonne. The Irish oyster industry is not without its challenges, including oyster herpes virus which may deliver between 20 and 80 per cent mortality of seed, with labour and seed inputs accounting for 44 per cent and 18 per cent respectively of total production costs. Seed supplies are sourced primarily from French and, to a much lesser extent, UK hatcheries, while some local hatcheries are developing. In terms of mussel production, the recruitment variability of natural stocks and seed collection are serious issues for all businesses. Rope grown production has an estimated current maximum capacity of 15,000 tonnes which is reported to be rarely reached due to seed availability, harvesting restrictions (red tide – biotoxin- closures) and oversupply of home markets. Lessons to learn Why the markedly different trajectories of the two countries’ shellfish cultivation sectors? Well you could write a book on the possible social and political reasons for public sector interventions taken and how these have played out in creating an environment for the establishment of small rural businesses. However, in a nutshell, it is simply down to economics, risk mitigation and the will to see such a rural industry prosper. Obviously, positive regulatory and governance arrangements require to be in place in order to assure food safety and ensure biosecurity issues are addressed for the public good. And market conditions cannot be distorted through disproportionate assistance or subsidy. Industry needs to produce for and develop local market opportunities and/or governments need to assist with access to the international market. How such public sector costs are attributed within a national economy is up to


13/01/2020 16:08:03

Trade Associations - Association of Scottish Shellfish Growers cultivation and particularly biodiversity and climate change mitigation implications, possibly some other industries or businesses may wish to invest in shellfish production (through a publicly promoted scheme) as a form of carbon offsetting or credit scheme. We have seen it on land with trees – amounting to an apparent ‘arms’ race in the December election campaign to plant the most trees. Could we in the future see a government committed to investing in bivalve shellfish production? It is a far more rational proposition than many that have been raised in recent weeks!

the government to determine. There is no doubt that within Scotland we have all the required natural assets to sustain a far larger shellfish cultivation industry. Our own industry development strategy, part of the Scottish food and drink sector Vision 2030, is supported by the government and is used as a benchmark to assess overall production progress. The associated benefits of shellfish farming have been presented over the years in a range of development strategies. Public sector agencies are in place to ensure that all considerations relating to the public good are catered for – food safety, environmental protection, biosecurity, nature conservation. We even have a National Marine Plan that promotes the positive role which shellfish cultivation can play within the environment and economy of Scotland. Government departments and agencies exist to ensure that the environmental and water quality conditions present in coastal waters recognise the potential for individual businesses to establish shellfish cultivation sites. We also have major research and development initiatives supported by the public sector which are capable of delivering the best available knowledge and science to resolve production constraints. In addition, businesses have been able to offset some locational or operational costs through targeted public sector investments. All of the above should see shellfish cultivation activities in Scotland surging forward. Bu while we are making progress, it is not at the same rate as our Irish neighbours. Do we as an industry want to see further substantive developments – undoubtedly, yes, as considerable private investment is already built into the structure of the Scottish sector. Such investment is not just in production – but also the extremely important market development. As is seen from the Irish survey, without market development total production opportunities are unlikely to be fully realised. Is there a simple solution to encouraging growth? From the public sector it simply has to be a joined up approach and clearly prioritised objectives that the Scottish government wishes to achieve and, importantly, to make sure all arms of government are aligned. At the moment, industry is shouldering the risk and uncertainty associated with investment in shellfish production. The economics can be made to work – but this is dependent on a degree of public sector support and investments in areas to protect the public good. However, such public sector provisions must not instil disproportionate costs which undermine the business case for establishing or expanding bivalve shellfish production. Positive benefits It is just a thought, but given the positive environmental benefits of shellfish


Within Scotland we have all the “ required natural assets to sustain a far larger shellfish cultivation industry ”

Shellfish.indd 24

Cost and value One example of where public sector policy is disjointed in terms of both aspirations for the expansion of the shellfish sector- and also with respect to recognising the wider environmental impact – is the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act. It has to be questioned why developers establishing glasshouses or polytunnels on land attract a planning fee of £100 per 0.1 hectare (maximum £3,000 for any scale of development) while the placing of equipment for shellfish cultivation is £200 + £75 per 0.1 hectare (maximum £20,000)? One has the lowest carbon footprint for foodanimal protein- production while the other is likely to actively contribute to carbon emissions. Perverse, disjointed or outdated – you decide. From a shellfish business start- up perspective, planning fees can typically exceed even this £20,000 ceiling because when environmental reports are requested by the planning authority there is no upper limit to costs. Such public sector engagement at the very start of what may well be a five-year process- once planning permission has been granted and before any shellfish are placed on the market – effectively makes any business unattractive to a commercial bank. Only through private equity are shellfish businesses able to be established in Scotland. Add to this scenario a range of other charges levied by the public sector in order to gain access to a site and install equipment, and it can be seen that while there is a desire to encourage shellfish cultivation in Scotland, the practical reality of dealing with various elements of the public administration is a substantial barrier to progress. Seafood Development Agency How about establishing a Scottish BIM, as the Irish version has certainly developed the shellfish cultivation industry into a major economic enterprise and secured rural employment? Scotland needs to not only talk the talk, but also walk the walk in coordinating public sector policies, through a single influential government initiative. Such an undertaking would need to have sufficient authority to ensure that many of the current administrative and cost burden hurdles are marginalised or removed. This would assist industry with the establishment of a shellfish cultivation sector of national economic and social importance. Something to think about in the New Year. Dr Nick Lake is CEO of the ASSG.

Above: Scottish oysters


13/01/2020 16:08:29

Wednesday 20 May Aviemore, Scotland The Aquaculture Awards recognise the achievements in different elements of the sector and give due recognition to those making an exceptional contribution to the industry, now and in the future. The awards are open to everyone involved in the global aquaculture industry, no matter how large or small. The 2020 awards categories highlight excellence across the sector, from the contribution of individuals just starting in the industry, to the impact made by established multi-nationals which have an ability to improve food security around the world.

Completed entries must be received by Monday 9 March 2020 Winners will be announced at an Awards presentation dinner held during Aquaculture UK, Wednesday 20 May 2020

Find out more at WWW.AQUACULTUREAWARDS.COM The Aquaculture Awards 2020 sponsored by:

5m Publishing.indd 23

13/01/2020 14:34:08

Feed – Introduction

Food of the future

How the aquafeed sector is adapting to changing markets around the world


HE aquafeed industry has seen diverse challenges in recent years and over capacity has forced companies to look for new opportunities. In Scotland, the trend for the big salmon producers to make their own feed continues, led by Mowi, which has had a successful first year of operation at its Kyleakin mill on Skye. As Mowi managing director Ben Hadfield told Fish Farmer, as well as providing feed for Mowi operations in Scotland, Ireland, the Faroes and Norway – where the company’s first feed factory is sited - third party sales from the plant are also increasing. Canada based Cooke Aquaculture announced last year that it, too, would be developing its own feed lines in the UK, taking over the Skretting plant in Invergordon. Cooke Aquaculture vice president of public

relations, Joel Richardson, told Fish Farmer: ‘We are aiming for a Q1 2020 restart of the Northeast Nutrition Scotland feed mill located in Invergordon.’ And Bakkafrost’s acquisition of the Scottish Salmon Company will bring more change, as the Faroese farmer will use its Havsbrun feed subsidiary to generate ‘synergies’ in Scotland. As Bakkafrost CEO Regin Jacobsen said after the SSC buy-out in September: ‘We can use the excess capacity we already have in place – fishmeal, fish oil and feed.’ Investment at

Left: The salmon feed sector is changing Above: AKVA feed barge Opposite: Aquafeed companies are adapting to evolving markets


Feed - Intro.indd 26

13/01/2020 16:06:06

Food of the future

We are “aiming for

a Q1 2020 restart of the feed mill in Invergordon Havsbrun will increase capacity further, added Jacobsen, and the synergies will take effect within two years, as the Scottish Salmon Company’s existing feed contracts end. Dutch bank Rabobank pointed out in a report, published last September, that the self-sufficiency of Mowi and Bakkafrost in Norway, Scotland, Ireland and the Faroe Islands reduces the aquafeed market in Europe by 20 per cent. And the report warned that further vertical integration, for example in Chile, could not be ruled out in the future. The salmon feed sector is also affected by slow production growth in the industry, while there is over capacity in the shrimp market, and the tilapia and pangasius industry has its own problems, with over supply and ‘a lower profit pool for the entire global value chain, including feed production’. The report, How to Succeed in Aqua Feed, said: ‘After years of growth, the aqua feed industry is experiencing a deceleration, with increasing over capacity in nearly all key markets globally. The causes vary and are often region-specific, but what is clear is that the aqua feed industry will need to think out of the box to find growth.’ But Gorjan Nikolik, senior animal protein analyst at Rabobank, said feed companies that adapt to the new environment can help drive the whole aquaculture industry forward. ‘The feed companies have to do something, the feed market is slowing down and contracting in the commodity end, while in the more innovative end there is so much opportunity. Everyone can’t do everything – the strategy has to fit the company, the core competency, the region and the species.’

Feed - Intro.indd 27

He said Cargill has invested in novel technologies and ingredients such as Calysta, and Skretting has ‘shown an appetite to invest in new mills in new regions’. ‘But there are also smaller players, like Aller Aqua, who have expanded into Africa and, for example, teamed up with Yalelo in Zambia to produce tilapia and are a great example of an alternative way to operate.’ Over the next few pages, we talk to some of these companies, as well as to leading researchers, and look at how they are developing new markets, in RAS, alternative proteins and oils, and in regional development. FF


13/01/2020 16:06:29

Feed – Mowi Scotland


journey’ in


Ben Hadfield reflects on achievements in both Scotland and Norway as he switches his focus to farming challenges


HE new management structure at Mowi, announced in December, will be a very good thing for Scotland, said Scottish boss Ben Hadfield. He has been appointed chief operating officer of farming in Scotland and Ireland, handing over his previous duties in the group as COO Feed to Atle Kvist, formerly managing director of Mowi Feed. Per-Roar Gjerde will be the COO of Farming in the Americas (Canada and Chile) and the Faroes, and will also lead Farming Norway until a permanent candidate has been found for the position. Hadfield told Fish Farmer he was ‘very happy’ with the new arrangements: ‘We have the opportunity to re-focus our management experience at the main challenges in farming. ‘For me it’s very nice to be able to devote more time to Scotland and also bring that experience to work with the team in Ireland.’ He said overseeing the group’s feed division for the past seven years had been a ‘fantastic journey’, with plants in Bjugn in Norway and Kyleakin on Skye established ‘with a lot of support from the whole company’. ‘We’ve built it up into an organisation doing more than 500,000 tonnes - two factories with great efficiency in Norway and increasing efficiency daily in Kyleakin. I’ve been in it since the beginning so it’s nice to be able to hand it over when you’ve got two really efficient state of the art factories, and a great team.’ He said while he was ‘obviously disappointed with the delays and the cost overrun’ at Kyleakin, given the circumstances ‘we made the best of it’. ‘And the products now are the best they’ve ever been. Time and again we see our products benchmarking above all competitor products.’ He said the big feed manufacturers had been producing salmon diets for 30 years and Mowi had gone from nothing to competing well against these companies in feed performance within a seven-year period. The Kyleakin plant could produce 240,000 tonnes in 2020 if there is demand. As well as supplying feed to Mowi’s operations in Scotland, Ireland, the Faroes and Norway, third party sales are also now increasing. ‘We’re doing trout diets, we’re doing specific diets for other salmon companies – not in Scotland in significant volumes but in Norway,’ said Hadfield. ‘We’ve had good success with the freshwater diets, we’ve done the organic diets for Ireland, and the next step is to do cleaner fish diets, and


Feed - Ben.indd 28

whatever else we can do. ‘On the cleaner fish diets we’ve got increasing demand as we step up our activity in Anglesey, with the two combined recirculation units there, one for ballan wrasse and one for lumpsucker.’ He said the wrasse hatchery, which Mowi bought from former sea bass farm Anglesey Aquaculture in 2017 and has rebuilt as a recirculation unit, would become operational this month. It will complement the company’s lumpsucker production unit at Ocean Matters, which was set up in 2015 on the site of an old turbot farm and acquired by Mowi last year. Asked about the inclusion of novel ingredients in its feed, Hadfield said Mowi was one of the first companies other companies came to when they have alternative feed products. ‘What we look for is that they are economically sustainable…and of course effective as an ingredient. ‘We’re quite selective, we don’t jump into something because there’s a bandwagon mentality. Some of these products are not yet at a scale where you’d want to use them, but there’s a lot of noise and hype about them. ‘They will come, we’re optimistic about that, but until they are economically viable and genuinely improving the sustainability footprint of our fish products, then we don’t move into them in major volumes.’ He said it was a good time to hand feed over to Kvist – ‘a great guy, very experienced’ – who would take it to new heights. And he said he was looking forward to spending more time on the farms – where he is happiest – in his new role, and would be travelling

Opposite: Mowi’s feed plant at Kyleakin on Skye, pictured last January before completion (photo: Angus Blackburn)

13/01/2020 16:03:19

‘Fantastic journey’ in feed less to Norway. Priorities in the New Year will be to continue addressing sea lice challenges, particularly in the face of warming sea temperatures. ‘We need to use the cooler temperatures to take sea lice levels down to a very low position and we need to continue to improve the harvest weight and the production volumes. ‘It’s a great product from both Scotland and Ireland but the biology has been very difficult, so we need to use the time to get ahead of the biological demands of the operation. ‘In the latter part of the year the [sea lice] levels were higher than I’d find acceptable but in the last three years there has been a major increase in sea lice control. ‘There is nothing we can do as farmers about warmer sea water temperatures, we’ve just got to lean into it and innovate and be better farmers as the conditions get tougher.’ Becoming better farmers is not just about investing in new pest control strategies, although Mowi, like most salmon farmers, spends millions on fish health. ‘No one should think we’re not strengthening management and training and development all of the time, we’re absolutely doing those things.

Feed - Ben.indd 29

just got to lean into warmer temperatures “We’ve and innovate and be better farmers as the conditions get tougher ”

But as it becomes warmer in the sea you have to do even more. ‘We’re talking about more innovation with sea lice barriers, more capacity in treatments, and higher welfare during treatment events. ‘And we may be talking about increasing the size of smolts, and there are some farming locations we have to question and ask if we are in the right place.’ Mowi Scotland has two RAS hatcheries, in Lochailort and Inchmore, but it also rears smolts in freshwater lochs. ‘What would help Scotland going forward would be to take advantage of the warmer temperatures and stock a larger smolt and reduce the growing phase in seawater,’ said Hadfield. He said there were several ways of doing this, but wouldn’t specify whether Mowi would be doing post smolts in the land based facilities or in the lochs. ‘There’s an option to have post smolt rearing facilities, which we may look at. I can’t say at the moment. ‘But raising the size of the smolts and taking advantage of the warmer temperatures, rather than finding them problematic, is one reasonable course.’ FF


13/01/2020 16:03:42

Feed – RAS nutrition

Florida key

Skretting’s focus on research and development helps secure major Atlantic Sapphire deal, opening up new market in land based salmon feed


KRETTING has been producing feed for RAS (recirculating aquaculture system) units for more than a decade, but its announcement in November that it had won the Atlantic Sapphire contract marked a leap forward in this sector. As a world pioneer of land based salmon farming, Atlantic Sapphire presents potentially huge opportunities for the feed company to expand into this new – and growing – market. Skretting launched its first specific RAS diets in 2009, aimed at hatchery fish, but the Atlantic Sapphire deal – to supply its original farm in Hvide Sande in Denmark for the first time and its giant plant in Miami in the US – takes it into the RAS grow-out stage. Fish Farmer asked Skretting commercial director Evy Vikene and her colleague Saravanan Subramanian, global product manager working with RAS feed development, about the advances in RAS nutrition and the future possibilities. ‘We have been pioneering RAS feed since 2005, with a product for hatcheries, and with commercial feed globally since 2009,’ said Dr Subramanian. ‘We have foreseen, around 2013-2014, that there was a new segment coming, especially the large post-smolt segment. Growth in the salmon industry


Skretting.indd 30

has been kept stagnant and so there is a way that large post-smolt can open up an area. ‘That is a big volume for us – the hatcheries are small fish, less than 100g, but this segment is planning to grow up to 1kg. ‘That is tenfold growth for us, from 100g fish to 1,000g, and we have started enhancing our capacity building in-house, both with expertise and infrastructure.’ Vikene said Skretting, part of Dutch group Nutreco and headquartered in Stavanger, has spent years learning to understand better how a RAS facility worked, with substantial investment in research and development. Skretting’s 11 million euro R&D Aquaculture Research Centre (ARC), based in Stavanger, includes a RAS hall, with 12 individual recirculation systems, to gauge how feed can affect fish, and also the system.

Above: Skretting’s Evy Vikene and Saravanan


Opposite: Skretting’s ARC Lerang Research Station

13/01/2020 15:59:16

Florida key ‘In Stavanger, we can grow fish up to 1kg, but there is another RAS facility for even larger fish in Chile – part of the research centre – where we can grow up to full size,’ said Vikene. Johan Andreassen, CEO of Atlantic Sapphire, said Skretting’s strong R&D foundation ‘was a key decision making factor’ in selecting the company as its main feed supplier. Vikene said: ‘They are the first global contract in the new RAS segment so of course we are proud and happy to be chosen.’ While Atlantic Sapphire has already been producing harvest size salmon on a small commercial scale of around 3,000 tonnes in its RAS farm in Denmark, the US operation is far more ambitious, with production capacity targeted to reach 220,000 tonnes a year by 2030. The diet requirements of grow-out fish in an open pen and in an RAS unit are not necessarily different on a nutritional level, but other factors must be taken into account. Subramanian said: ‘When it comes to feed quality for bigger salmon in RAS, it is the physical quality that is most important.’ For structural integrity, the pellet has to have very good water stability because it has to stay intact in the water until the fish eats, so nothing, including fat, is leached out. ‘We can use any type of fat source but we use our technology to minimise fat leakage. It is more precise too; we try to minimise waste and utilise everything for fish growth,’ he said. ‘When it comes to physical quality, we keep our product much more consistent so we minimise variation from batch to batch. ‘If you change the recipe from one batch to another, the fish will immediately react and that will impact the whole life in the system, including the biofilter being cleansed. ‘That takes time and we don’t want to give the customer any risk so we provide consistency to make the system stable all the time.’ Although the raw materials wouldn’t be very different from net pen systems, stricter limits on raw material usage means that manufacturing the RAS diets incurs additional costs. Skretting’s latest range of RAS feed – branded RCX – is produced in the same mills as feed destined for traditional salmon sites, but the quality assurance around the product is different. ‘We are using the same mills but the recipe is stricter on quality assurance; we are certifying our plants and making sure that they are able to produce the consistent quality needed,’ said Vikene. Subramanian added: ‘We don’t believe we need a separate factory. But we have very strict protocols for production and for quality control before each batch is tested and released. We don’t want to take any risks, and that means we are gearing up our standard for this feed.’ Skretting has its own global quality standards for its RAS range of diets, designed to minimise the risk to water quality and filter loading of grow-out facilities. It is more expensive to make and quality assure the RAS range because it’s more technical to make than other feeds, said Vikene. But there are other potential savings with RAS

Skretting.indd 31

farmed salmon, including lower freight costs as the fish will be produced closer to market. And RAS farmers do not anticipate problems like sea lice, for example. ‘There are no issues yet but whenever you place a number of animals in any kind of environment it is possible that health issues can arise,’ said Vikene. ‘For fish these are typically gill related, but we don’t know if we will encounter these issues yet. ‘We will work very closely with customers, because if a problem should occur we have solutions because of our extensive experience with salmon in open pens.’ Skretting currently supplies feed to Atlantic Sapphire from its North American and Norwegian plants, but may build a dedicated mill nearer to the Miami farm, which has an initial projected annual production of 10,000 tonnes. Vikene said: ‘We are supplying them from St Andrews, on the east coast of Canada. We have two factories in Canada, the one on the east coast which is closer to Miami, and one in Vancouver, and a third one is actually in the US, in Salt Lake City. ‘Atlantic Sapphire’s long term ambition is to have a factory close to their location because they really want to be local, and when the volumes start picking up we have openly said we will be able to look at putting up production close to them.’ She said they haven’t discussed exact locations yet, ‘but in any market when the volumes are large enough we intend investing in another line or another factory’. ‘But until then, we have enough capacity in the current factory to serve the initiatives that we know of and are in dialogue with.’ This, she confirmed, includes other RAS projects in the US, particularly in Maine, most of which are still in the early stages of development. ‘We have a good overview of the [RAS] projects that are ongoing globally and we are making projections and planning according to that development,’ said Vikene. ‘There is global high uncertainty in the numbers – some talk about one million tonnes in 2030, which is a lot. ‘We are strong believers in this segment because if there is one thing that’s needed in the world it is food, and seafood is number one for protein efficiency. ‘We welcome all initiatives, all production methods, and to use this new RAS segment is exciting, we believe in it; we believe it will be a bit up and down because there are still challenges to be solved. ‘We also think it is not in any competition with traditional farming methods – there is more than enough market for all production methods. And we need the food. It’s a huge opportunity to produce food and we are strongly committed to be part of that growth. ‘But seafood also needs feed, not the least, raw materials. And securing enough raw materials to grow seafood production is one of the biggest challenges and hottest topics.’

“areThey the

first global contract in the new RAS segment so of course we are proud and happy to be chosen


13/01/2020 16:00:13

Feed – RAS nutrition

With the RAS market and its focus on quality and precision, is there greater scope to explore novel ingredients? ‘We are looking into novel ingredients in the RAS diets…in parallel with other developments,’ said Vikene. ‘And we are also trying to collaborate with our customers on their value proposition because that is how they can differentiate. We can support them with feed development and raw materials to develop seafood products that really address the needs of the developing consumer.’ But she said all salmon farmers, whether farming in the sea or on land, have a positive approach to new ingredients. ‘All salmon and seafood producers care about sustainability because that is the only way they can survive and the only licence they have to produce. ‘I wouldn’t say the RAS segment thinks more about sustainability than others, but it is part of their value proposition to be local- for instance, having fresh product into the market with a lower carbon footprint from the air freight. But then, on the other hand, they will need to use more energy so it’s a balance.’ Skretting is supplying feed for more than 140 RAS sites globally, but there are a lot of new grow-out RAS projects in development, still to be built, and Vikene predicts that the volume will pick up in the next five to 10 years. Meanwhile, all eyes are on the, so far, successful progress at Atlantic Sapphire, with the first post-smolts transferred to seawater tanks last October. Subramanian said they are in frequent contact, with Skretting providing strong technical support to the Miami operation. On the day he spoke to Fish Farmer, just before Christmas, the feed compa-

ny’s technical product manager was at the Florida facility checking out how everything was going. ‘This is a new segment and we want to be part of its success,’ said Subramanian. ‘And, of course, their success is our success so we take the utmost care for our customers in this segment. ‘And we have AquaSim (see box, right), our digital tool for decision making. We can forecast, see how they grow, predict the feeding, how much to feed on a daily basis, and we can also predict how much waste comes out from the system. This is new for RAS, we are trying to integrate it now, getting data every day, for instance from Denmark.’ Vikene said: ‘We know how a salmon in an open net pen will grow on different temperatures, different feed – that has been built up over many years. ‘When you put the salmon in a closed system and in a RAS system, it is not known yet what the exact growth will be. ‘That is knowledge we will need to build up and we are doing it together with our customers. The potential in RAS in that area is huge because a lot more things can be measured than in open pens.’ Skretting is on a learning curve with the farmer, and Vikene said it was her company’s commitment to research that helped seal its deal with Atlantic Sapphire. ‘The reason we were chosen is that they have high expectations of us to develop and do relevant R&D, which is what we are trying every day to do. ‘The best thing to happen in this area is to be chosen on that criteria because there is a lot of development and innovation needed.’ FF

Left: Saravanan Subramanian and Stuart Fyfe of Skretting Below: Inside the ARC research station

When the volumes start picking up we have said we will be able to look at putting up production close to them 32

Skretting.indd 32

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Florida key

Smart toolkit tailors feed to need AQUACULTURE is becoming better equipped than ever before to capitalise on sophisticated analytical software and converging technologies to improve farming production. At the forefront of this evolution is AquaSim, Skretting’s integrated digital platform that combines biology, quality and economics alongside sensors, feeders, the internet of things (IoT) and other connected technologies. The toolkit uses data to calculate expected performance and provide real-time production upgrades on an individual farm by farm basis. More than 1.5 billion farmed fish and shrimp have already been harvested through AquaSim’s recommendations. Embedding these smart control mechanisms into fish and shrimp farming systems, and feeding data back into the analytics process, provides unprecedented visibility into production processes and the ability to truly optimise the value of the biomass. ‘AquaSim brings real-time data and big data together in a smarter farm environment to enable far more informed, proactive decision making,’ said Kristoffer Tveit,

Skretting’s international product manager. ‘By harnessing the latest technologies available, AquaSim is an evolving global solution that is constantly seeking to progress fish and shrimp farm agility, optimisation, transparency and proactivity. ‘Investing in these capabilities and becoming better connected is enabling these farmers to differentiate themselves and their products in a fast changing marketplace.’ AquaSim utilises aquaculture species’ growth and feeding models built up by Skretting’s research teams over three decades. Based on appraisals of individual farming environments and each farm’s production targets and inputs, AquaSim provides tailored recommendations, including the most cost effective stocking patterns, feed selection and feeding strategy to achieve the desired outcomes. Furthermore, with no two farming sectors having the same requirements, its flexibility allows different regions to fulfil those functions that are most important to local needs. While AquaSim represents a decisive shift

for the aquaculture industry, Skretting said it is far from finished expanding its connected capabilities and algorithms. The steady stream of new sensors being made available to the market provides scope to measure many new parameters, and it is also being rolled out to more species, with many more in the pipeline.

RECIRC Less waste Lower risk

Skretting’s RCX feed range for RAS reduces risk for producers through optimising the digestibility of the feeds, reducing the impact of indirect waste into RAS by improving faecal stability, and by ensuring consistent structural integrity through certified factory auditing. Contact your local sales representative for more information.

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13/01/2020 16:01:13

Feed – Insects

Take off for fly feed With the opening in France of the world’s largest insect farm, could 2020 be the tipping point for this alternative protein in aquaculture markets? BY SANDY NEIL


HE world’s largest insect farm and US agricultural feed giant Cargill are joining forces to take a bite out of a new multi-billion dollar market to replace fishmeal in salmon and trout feed. Their solution: the black soldier fly, whose voracious larvae are highly efficient at producing protein and compost. But while insect meal helps reduce the dependence on wild caught fish, will it catch on with fish farmers and consumers? More than half of the fish consumed worldwide comes from aquaculture, according to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), a figure expected to grow by 60 per cent by 2030. A major challenge for breeding carnivorous fish is the availability of protein and lipid resources adapted to their nutritional needs. The FAO estimates the global demand for quality protein to be worth 500 billion dollars, including an emerging market for proteins derived from insects worth a potential 30 to 50 billion dollars. Since July 1, 2018, the European Union has authorised aquaculture farms to feed their fish proteins derived from insect larvae. Now Cargill and InnovaFeed, a French biotech start-up building the world’s largest insect farm, are trying to convert Europe’s fish farms to insect feed.

‘With a population that is growing exponentially and finite resources on our planet, Cargill’s mission is to nourish the world in a safe, responsible and sustainable way,’ Megan Fairchild Anderson, Cargill Aqua Nutrition’s global marketing communications lead, told Fish Farmer. ‘With that perspective, Cargill is proactively looking for alternative feed ingredients and new proteins. ‘Traditionally, a lot of aquaculture feeds were based on fishmeal and oil derived from wild fish which were not commonly eaten directly by humans. ‘But today the feeds have developed to use many terrestrial sources of protein and energy, and there is also now a lot of work to develop novel sources as well. ‘Cargill is investing in some of these directly and also working with other suppliers to encourage them to develop alternative sustainable sources of nutrients, so we can grow the sustainably sourced raw material basket to help feed the aquaculture industry. Today, fishmeal is about 10 per cent of the diet.’ Cargill, a huge 150-year-old firm with 160,000 employees across 70 countries, is promoting alternative ingredients such as single-cell protein feed pioneered by two firms, Calysta and White Dog Labs, and ‘promising’ insect protein. ‘It has two major advantages,’ Anderson said: ‘First, insects are part of many fish species’ natural diet, and second, it can be produced in a sustainable way at a competitive cost using widely available co-products of the cereal industry. ‘Currently, the main market for insect protein is aquaculture. The total fish feed market is estimated at 50 million tonnes per year today, and is growing six to eight per cent annually. ‘The global aquaculture market is still experiencing high growth and we will need alternative sources of protein to support sustainable growth. The market for insect meal can therefore be very large.’

It can be “produced in

a sustainable way at a competitive cost using widely available coproducts of the cereal industry

Larger volumes She added: ‘The insect industry is at an inflection point. We will see much larger volumes available as soon as [this] year. InnovaFeed has spent the past years developing an innovative and competi-


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Take off for fly feed

tive technology to produce large volumes of insect protein. ‘They will launch their first full-scale plant with a production capacity of 10,000 tonnes per year of insect meal at the start of 2020, and are planning five additional plants of the same size in the upcoming two years.’ InnovaFeed’s head of Value Chain, Chloé Phan Van Phi, told Fish Farmer: ‘Aquaculture is the fastest growing agro-business with an annual growth of about eight per cent. ‘Traditional protein sources for aquafeed are insufficient to meet this growth: in particular, fish stocks are currently exploited to their maximum, thereby limiting the production of fishmeal. ‘Therefore, to meet that growth, the industry

Feed - Insects.indd 35

needs to secure new sources of proteins. Insects, thanks to their ability to convert low value biomass into high quality animal proteins and reintroduce them in the food chain, is emerging as an excellent solution.’ InnovaFeed, created in 2016 by alumni of the McKinsey firm, is one of two French start-ups competing for leadership in this new industry. Ÿnsect has developed its solution based on Tenebrio Molitorn beetles, also called mealworms, while InnovaFeed produces protein to feed fish, birds and small mammals from the larvae of Hermetia illucens, or the black soldier fly. The biotech firm, headquartered in Paris, employs around 60 engineers and technicians, relying on the eco-friendly nature of its activity to attract Millennials who favour meaning over salary. ‘More and more, young graduates are choosing a job which they think can be positive for the planet,’ Clément Ray, InnovaFeed’s chief executive officer and co-founder told La Tribune. InnovaFeed’s team have developed an innovative process allowing them to produce high quality insect meal at an industrial scale.

Above: Black soldier fly Opposite: Balck soldier fly larvae


13/01/2020 15:53:41

Feed – Insects

InnovaFeed currently runs two sites: the Gouzeaucourt pilot plant near Cambrai (Hauts-de-France), inaugurated in late 2017, which uses 3,000 square metres of local agricultural by-products for breeding insects, and the construction site of Nesle in the Somme, in partnership with the Tereos starch factory; this, according to Ray, should be ‘the largest site in the world, with annual capacity producing 10 to 20,000 tonnes of insect protein’. ‘The idea is to bring new circular economy solutions to the agri-food industry,’ Ray said. ‘The insect farm deploys a circular and zero waste logic, by using an eco-product as raw material- recycled starch and sugar from the food industry- and therefore does not waste natural resources. In addition, the nutrient rich larvae can be reinjected into agricultural land as organic fertiliser. Unique model Van Phi said: ‘For this plant, InnovaFeed developed a unique industrial symbiosis model which consists of co-locating with an existing industrial player to minimise our carbon footprint and maximise economies of scale. ‘Therefore, we are located next to Tereos, a starch manufacturer that will directly convey its co-products to feed our larvae through a pipeline we are building between their site and our site. This way, it is 9,000 trucks per year that we are saving. ‘We are also co-locating with a wood biomass turbine where we are capturing their fatal energy (energy that was previously dissipated into the air) to fuel our plant.’ Some 60 per cent of Nesle energy comes from fatal energy, she said, so it does not produce any additional carbon footprint. Ray added: ‘We respect the same cycle as that of nature, in which insects accelerate the decomposition of biomass, fruit for example. Then, we extract the nutrients from this biomass which will feed birds and fish. ‘Once the larvae reach a certain stage, protein and oil are extracted from


Feed - Insects.indd 36

the larvae, to be used in feed for pets, aquaculture species and young animals like broilers and piglets. ‘By upcycling local cereal co-products and repurposing insect waste as an organic fertiliser, InnovaFeed’s products have a positive environmental impact. ‘We’re also able to have a positive impact on climate change by saving 25,000 tonnes of CO² emissions per year with each 10,000-tonne production unit by feeding insect meal to animals. That is equivalent to removing 14,000 cars off the roads.’ The factory makes three products. First an insect protein called ProtiNova, with an amino acid profile adapted to the nutritional needs of fish, and secondly SaniNova insect oil rich in fatty acids, including a high content of lauric acid known for its antimicrobial properties. It is designed as a natural feed supplement for young or adult animals whose digestive tract is sensitive to bacterial infections, such as piglets or poultry, and a sustainable alternative to palm or

Above: InnovaFeed’s Gouzeaucourt site, operational since October 2017, is located near Cambrai

There are still challenges to “ overcome, in particular regarding

the inclusion of insect meal in the Label Rouge specifications

13/01/2020 15:54:40

Take off for fly feed copra oil directly in the diet. Finally, there’s a natural solution, FrassiNova, produced from insect larvae droppings, to promote plant growth and improve the qualities of the soil for agriculture. It can be used in organic farming, as part of a circular management of agricultural land, used to fertilise the crops from which the raw materials are derived to feed insects. ‘Insect meal has a very similar amino acid profile to fishmeal,’ said Van Phi. ‘Trials have shown that insect meal was at least as good as fishmeal for salmonids and even much better for shrimp. ‘Trials on insect meal have demonstrated a high digestibility and equal or better performance, with up to 100 per cent fishmeal replacement. ‘It has also demonstrated an improved quality of finished product: improved organoleptic quality, higher omega-3 concentration, deeper colouration and lower concentration of pollutants in the fish flesh. ‘In terms of environmental benefit, insect meal has a 30 per cent lower CO2 impact than fishmeal, and that does not take into account the impact on marine biodiversity. ‘Once our plant in Nesle is finished, InnovaFeed has announced the construction of five others in parallel in Europe, the US and Asia following the industrial symbiosis model. ‘With this larger volume, we plan to develop sustainable salmon and shrimp value chains following the model of the insect fed trout.’ (See box, right.) Megan Fairchild Anderson of Cargill said: ‘We have been collaborating with Lerøy on trialling insect protein in commercial feed already. ‘The availability of higher volumes of insect protein will enable the roll-out of commercial production. We see insect meal as a sustainable alternative. ‘Over the past three years, InnovaFeed and Cargill have led multiple trials demonstrating that its insect protein can be an effective alternative to fishmeal used in salmonids or shrimp feed, with equal or improved performance. Insect meal has a similar protein content and similar digestibility to fishmeal. ‘Salmon feeds have fallen from using up to 70 per cent marine ingredients in the 1990s to between 10-20 per cent, varying with customer requirements, but Cargill is also applying a policy that the marine ingredients are sourced sustainably. ‘By 2025, our ambition is that all of our marine ingredients should come from Marine Stewardship Council certified fisheries and today in Norway and Scotland we are nearly at 70 per cent. ‘This is also supported by our use of trimmings from fish caught for direct human consumption, contributing to the circular economy in food systems by securing important nutrients which would otherwise be wasted. Up to half of our marine ingredients purchased annually are from trimmings, depending on the local availability.’ She added: ‘While it is possible to make a series of diets that include insect meal for the lifecycle of salmon which entirely replace fishmeal using other protein sources, we do not feel that it is necessary as we continue to maintain a focus on sourcing sustainable fishmeal. ‘Our preference is to continue to use relatively small amounts of sustainably sourced fishmeal from whole fish or trimmings, complemented with other sources of protein from sustainable supply chains. ‘Our aim is not to focus on particular ingredients, but rather be able get the nutrients we need to put in the feeds from a wide range of sustainable origins. ‘To this end, we work with our suppliers to demonstrate their sustainability credentials and, where required, improve them.’ She said while the short-term focus for Cargill’s partnership with InnovaFeed is on salmon, other aquaculture species are also being considered. Will insect protein catch on at Scottish fish farms? Van Phi said: ‘There has been a very strong interest from salmon farmers in Scotland as insect meal is perfectly aligned with Scottish farmers’ requirements in terms of quality and sustainability. ‘There are still challenges to overcome, in particular regarding the inclusion of insect meal in the Label Rouge specifications. ‘We are actively working on them with our partners and are hopeful to resolve them in the short term. ‘InnovaFeed’s insect protein is currently being used by multiple fish farmers in Europe. ‘Insect rearing is still a very young industry. 2020 will be the first year with significant volumes of insect protein coming on the market with our industrial scale plant.’. FF

Feed - Insects.indd 37

Consumer acceptance after trout trial

INSECT fed trout has been commercialised in France since June of 2018. ‘We’ve seen a strong acceptance of our products by consumers looking for natural and sustainable products,’ said InnovaFeed‘s head of business development, Maye Walraven. Chloé Phan Van Phi said: ‘In 2018, InnovaFeed launched with French retailer Auchan the first insect fed trout in supermarkets in collaboration with Skretting and fish farmer Truite Service. ‘Our consumer surveys showed that consumers wanted to know what their fish was fed with and that the risk was to not communicate rather than over communicate. ‘This product has been available and successful for over a year now in 52 Auchan supermarkets in France, with the plan to expand it to the whole French territory in 2020. ‘In terms of taste, organoleptic trials have shown that insect fed fish tasted at least as good if not better than traditional fish on 3 criteria: higher omega-3 content, deeper colour, and a more juicy flesh.’ Elsewhere, InnovaFeed has also helped Dutch fish feed specialist Alltech Coppens launch Midori, the first insect based koi feed. The floating larvae shaped pellet is designed to mimic the black soldier fly larvae, stimulating the natural feeding pattern of the koi. Earlier in 2019, InnovaFeed and Le Gouessant Aquaculture also announced a successful 100 per cent fishmeal substitution with insects in rainbow trout feed. The joint trial, it said, was the first time that 100 per cent of the fishmeal has been substituted by high quality insect protein derived from black soldier fly larvae. InnovaFeed said: ‘The results of the trial confirm the interest for this innovative source of protein and the potential to totally substitute fishmeal by insect meal in a commercial trout feed. ‘These good results are encouraging us to launch other studies in the future, on other aquaculture species or to further explore the effects of insect meal on fish health.’

Above: Maye Walraven


13/01/2020 15:55:00

Feed – Fish oil

New landscape for GM Leading scientist sees post-Brexit opportunities for novel oils


STUDY in Scotland is to explore the health benefits to salmon of a variety of novel oils - and it could also pave the way for a whole new agricultural sector in Britain. Scientists at the Institute of Aquaculture (IoA) in Stirling announced in December details of the investigation, which will test oils from genetically modified (GM) oilseed crops and microalgae. A range of alternatives to fish oil have been developed in recent years to provide valuable omega-3 fatty acids in fish feed, and, in turn, boost levels in the human diet to help protect against cardiovascular disease. The Stirling research, led by Professor Douglas Tocher and Dr Mónica Betancor, will see these novel oils incorporated into salmon feed, with the team monitoring the impact of the new omega-3 sources on the response of the fish to specific disease and parasite challenges. Dr Betancor said: ‘The omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA are beneficial to human health – but they are in short supply. Fish and seafood – now increasingly supplied by the aquaculture sector – are the major sources of these omega-3 fatty acids. ‘The aquaculture industry also adds these fatty acids to fish diets to increase levels of EPA and DHA in the products, which then benefits the consumer.’ Current practice involves giving farmed fish a feed containing a blend of marine fish oil, sourced from the sea, and vegetable oil. However, fishmeal and fish oil supplies are also at their sustainable limit and – as they are increasingly replaced by plant and vegetable based alternatives – omega-3 levels in farmed salmon have halved in recent years. Betancor added: ‘The study will also define the influence of the novel dietary oils on the detailed biochemical and molecular mechanisms underpinning fish health, and assess and validate the potential of these new oils for use in salmon farming.’ The Stirling team are working with fish immunologists at the University of Aberdeen; and the lipidomics group at the University of the Highlands and Islands. The industry is also providing support through BioMar and SAIC (the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre). Pivotal to the trial is Professor Johnathan Napier of Rothamsted Research in Hertfordshire, a long-time collaborator with the Stirling team and, since last year, an honorary professor at the IoA. Napier has pioneered the cultivation of GM camelina plants that contain the same amounts of long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids,


Feed - Oil.indd 38

eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), as fish oil. The first field trials, conducted in the UK along with the IoA and BioMar in 2015, proved that GM camelina plants could synthesise fish oil without any negative effects on yield. Then, in 2018, a full scale year-long trial was launched, effectively in commercial conditions at a fish farm in Scotland, to take salmon fed on GM fish oils up to market size. That trial was concluded in spring last year and Napier’s colleagues at Stirling are still analysing the results, looking not just at tissue and fatty acid analysis, but conducting detailed molecular studies into gene expression too. Napier said the results will be well worth the wait and will ‘de-risk’ the oil for people who want to use it in the future – ‘you can point to these studies and see that it’s been tested from when the fish went into the sea loch at 200g all the way up to 4-5kg’. This year’s trial, funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and due to start in the spring with results expected by the end of the year, will be on a smaller scale, in tanks rather than in a sea loch. ‘I think that’s the best way to do it at this stage,’ said Napier. ‘It’s difficult to get enough material, enough of the novel oils from all of the different sources.’ These sources will include microalgae oil from Veramaris, which Napier said ‘is sort of on the market’, and canola plant oil from Nuseed in Australia and Cargill, as well as the camelina oil. ‘The idea is we’ll do a whole panel of oils so, assuming we can get our hands on them, we would be comparing the algal oil with our GM camelina oil, and hopefully against some of the canola oils from Cargill.’

Left L-R: Professor Douglas Tocher, Dr Mónica Betancor, Professor Johnathan Napier Opposite: Camelina plants

13/01/2020 15:49:45

New landscape for GM

The oils don’t all have the same properties – canola makes only DHA, for example, whereas Napier’s oil makes EPA as well. ‘They all have different fatty acid compositions, they differ among themselves and they differ when you line them up against a fish oil, in the same way that a northern hemisphere fish oil differs from a southern hemisphere fish oil. There is no one template.’ Napier said he is pleased with the levels of EPA and DHA, ‘the important omega-3 fish oils’ that he and his team can make in their camelina plants. ‘We’d already shown that you could use those plant oils as a total replacement for fish oils in

Feed - Oil.indd 39

It could allow us to write our own regulations in a way that might help a nascent GM agriculture industry in the UK

salmon and in other fish diets. But as part of our continued collaborations with Stirling we are thinking a bit beyond nutrition now. ‘These novel oils are definitely going to come to the market quite soon. The question our study is going to look at is are there any health impacts, or maybe even better than that, health benefits, from our novel oils. ‘Will it be something that will not just give you a salmon fillet with high levels of EHA and DPA, but was the health of the fish improved as a con-


13/01/2020 15:50:09

Feed – Fish oil

sequence of these novel diets. ‘Those fatty acids are known to be anti-inflammatory – that’s why they are good for humans – so maybe in the fish it will reduce their inflammatory responses as a result of a disease challenge or as a consequence of being in a confined space or if there are environmental challenges.’ The experiments will examine any correlation between the various oils and better fish performance, and Napier believes the results will be interesting not just for the industry but ‘ultimately for the consumer’. Last year, Rothamsted Research secured funding for five-year trials testing different aspects of the oils (see box right). The field work is taking place on UK soil but for the larger 2018 salmon trial in Scotland, commercial quantities of camelina had to be grown in the US, where the GM regulations are less restrictive than in the EU. Rothamsted Research has carried out previous trials in Nebraska in the US and in Manatoba in Canada. ‘If we needed really larger volumes we would need to go to North America again, the US or Canada,’ said Napier. ‘It depends on the volumes we need. In the UK we can still do a reasonable amount and we’ve even increased the area here at Rothamsted that we’re going to use for growing GM crops. ‘In the grand scheme of things it’s not much - two fields instead of one! But it’s a step in the


Feed - Oil.indd 40

Above: The results of the new feed trials will be of interest to consumers too. Opposite: Anti GM protest in Canada

13/01/2020 15:51:04

New landscape for GM right direction.’ The viability of GM oil is not going to rest with the science but with its social licence. Napier is a passionate advocate of the advantages of GM plants in delivering more sustainable aquaculture and better human nutrition, and he thinks public perceptions are changing, in a positive way. ‘The critical thing that everybody who works in this area has to do is explain what and why in fact, it’s much more important to explain the why than the what. People don’t need the nuts and bolts of what it is we’re doing, but if you can explain why you want to do it, I think that makes a difference. ‘The biggest challenge that we all face is climate change and environmental change, which is going to have an impact on everything, including food production. ‘People are realising there are big challenges and they may not be directly related to agriculture or food, but those big challenges are going to impact on us all, probably much sooner than a lot of people thought. ‘And in that respect, we have to try and identify as many innovative solutions as we can possibly come up with.’ He said he is bemused by the trend of blaming agriculture, particularly beef production, for destroying the environment. ‘The solution is we should grow meat cells in a petri dish and make burgers that cost a quarter of a million pounds! You need to find pragmatic and workable solutions that are also economically viable. ‘People from the aquaculture sector get quite worried about how they are perceived in the press but they should try either being in agriculture or even being in GM agriculture! ‘You need to be completely upfront and transparent and don’t try to rebrand what you are doing as something different or call it a fancy name that’s going to make it seem less unacceptable. You just have to explain why you are doing it the way you’re doing it. ‘It takes time and that’s why with the GM we’re getting there but it’s taken us 15 years of slogging away.’ Napier believes the commercial reality of GM oil is within reach. ‘The horizon that we’re working towards is somewhere between three and five years and I think that’s an achievable goal now, though if you’d asked me 10 years ago I might have said the same thing, but it would have been taken with a massive pinch of salt. ‘Now we’re in a position where we don’t need to do much more research, we need to do more product development to move things through the regulatory approval process.’ And he thinks the post-Brexit landscape might offer more favourable conditions for the development of this cutting edge science. ‘Up until a few months ago, I would have said I don’t think it’s going to have any difference at all, even though I assumed we would ultimately leave the EU. ‘The white paper that Theresa May put

Feed - Oil.indd 41

“toWetryhave and together, basically saying it’s a business as usual model, we’ll leave the EU but we’ll stay aligned with EU regulations, was effectively quite a soft Brexit. ‘Now, all bets are off, and it’s more likely that we will have something that could be a harder Brexit. Although it’s not something I think is a good thing in general, in the space of GM it’s possible that it will allow us to write our own regulations in a way that might help a nascent GM agriculture industry in the UK.’ In Scotland, where the government has banned genetically modified crop production, there is less likely to be a change of direction and Napier thinks there will be different regional approaches across the UK. But he remains firmly committed to demonstrating the benefits and opportunities in GM crops, not least for farmers, who could seek new livelihoods in feeding the fast growing aquaculture industry. ‘One of the consequences of leaving the EU is all those subsidies that farming has received are going to go away, so farmers are going to need new ways to turn a profit. ‘What is the alternative…it’s happening [leaving the EU] and it’s analogous to climate change; you have to try and do something about it.’ FF

identify as many innovative solutions as we can possibly come up with

Leading the field in transgenic plant research ROTHAMSTED Research received permission from Defra in May 2019 to run a series of trials using genetically modified camelina plants. The first part of the proposed research will determine performance in the field, and the seed oil yield, of transgenic camelina plants that have been engineered to accumulate omega-3 fish oils in their seeds. Above: Rothamsted Research in Hertfordshire A recent study led by the Unicontain less sinapine in their seeds. Sinapine versity of Southampton found the is a bitter tasting, anti-nutritive chemical that uptake and use of these oils by the body was can make the protein rich seed meal less the same whether plant or fish based sources palatable as an animal feed. were consumed. The trial also includes appraisal of some Similarly, in the collaboration with Stirling’s gene edited plants, which were reclassified as Institute of Aquaculture, as well as the NorGM by the EU last year. wegian University of Science and Technology, This part of the trial, using CRISPR-Cas9 it was shown that these GM oils were an gene technology, is looking to boost the effective substitute for fish oil in the feeds of amount of oleic acid – used in both food and farmed salmon. industrial processes – already in the seeds. The second strand of work will look at This experiment is part of Tailoring Plant the performance of camelina plants whose metabolism has been altered to increase seed Metabolism, one of Rothamsted’s five strategic programmes (2017-2022) that receive oil content. financial support from the Biotechnology and The final part will investigate the perforBiological Sciences Research Council. mance of camelina plants engineered to


13/01/2020 15:51:28

Feed – IFFO

Future bright for natural diet Novel ingredients need to be used effectively alongside fishmeal and fish oil BY NEIL AUCHTERLONIE


ISHMEAL and fish oil have been the major constituents of feeds for modern aquaculture since its inception several decades ago. It is fair to say that the pace of modern aquaculture development would have been far slower if it hadn’t been for the fact that feeds based on these ingredients are a straightforward means of providing the required nutrition for farmed fish. In the early days of aquaculture, feed formulations based predominantly on fishmeal and fish oil were comparatively uncomplicated; this freed up technological effort to concentrate on other important areas of aquaculture, such as systems technology, fish health and selective breeding, in order to create the viable industry that we have today. A means of supplying nutrition to growing fish in a practical manner negated any requirement for early research effort on fish nutrition that could have delayed industry development. Fishmeal and fish oil are the foundation of modern fed aquaculture. The reason why these earlier feeds were so successful in achieving the nutritional needs of farmed fish is self-evident: fishmeal and fish oil are the constituent parts of the prey items that farmed fish species such as Atlantic salmon would consume in their wild state. For example, wild Atlantic salmon are documented as preying on blue whiting, sandeel and herring in the North east Atlantic (Haugland et al., 2006), and this is what the wild fish choose to eat from all the fish (and invertebrate) species available in the marine environment. Blue whiting, sandeel and herring are all instantly recognisable raw material sources for fishmeal and fish oil. The fish species that are chosen to be farmed generally are high value, because the economic model for production is optimised for fish holding superior market prices, and those higher market prices then increase the likelihood of aquaculture businesses being successful. Those fish species in the sector of the aquaculture industry that has driven innovation have tended to be the higher trophic level, and therefore carnivorous fish species. They are obligate piscivores, and evolved to utilise dietary proteins and fats that are found in lower trophic level fish species. Whether the raw material is whole fish, or by-product, all the manufacture of fishmeal and fish oil does is remove water following a cooking process, thereby providing more nutritionally concentrated materials that are first class ingredients for aquafeeds. After several millennia of evolution, it should come as no surprise that the optimum nutrition available from whole fish and by-products via fishmeal and fish oil to farmed fish is exactly what they need, physiologically speaking. With comparatively high protein levels (usually 68-72 per cent), high digestibility (often 90 per cent or more), perfectly profiled amino acid and fatty acid balances, and a range of micronutrients including vitamins and minerals that are essential for heath and growth, fishmeal and fish


Feed IFFO.indd 42

oil are benchmark aquafeed ingredients against which the performance of other ingredients are measured. The real issue with fishmeal and fish oil is availability of supply. For the last 25 years or so, the production of these materials has been relatively stable, at approximately five million tonnes of fishmeal, and just under one million tonnes of fish oil. A key point here is that supply has not increased alongside the increased need for aquafeed volume. There just isn’t enough of these materials to satisfy the demands of a continually growing aquaculture, hence aquafeed, sector as the materials are dependent on managed natural resources, that is, marine fisheries. Disappointingly, the myth that a growing aquaculture sector puts additional pressure on capture fisheries for more fishmeal and fish oil continues to be perpetrated despite the data showing clearly that there is no additional supply of marine ingredients despite a rapidly growing aquaculture industry. This is because, for the most part, these fisheries of small pelagic fish species are regulated, managed and comparatively productive, in contrast to some of the other food fish species fisheries. Not all the annual supply of fishmeal and fish oil goes to aquaculture, of course (IFFO’s 2018 estimates indicate 74.6 per cent and 72.7 per cent respectively), and the market ultimately decides the destination of these high value ingredients. Fishmeal and fish oil carry with them several decades of data and information about raw material supply, production, nutrient profile and other details. They are a known factor in the feed industry, and as such remain the most important contributor to nutritionally complete feeds, even if they no longer occupy the majority volume in the formulations. Their performance is known and quantified to the degree that they form important ingredients for aquafeeds. Interestingly, though, there are still discoveries

From top: Blue whiting, sandeel, herring

13/01/2020 15:47:00

Future bright for natural diet or new revelations of the importance of some compounds in both materials that may have further beneficial growth or health effects for fish stock in aquaculture production systems - for example, taurine in fishmeal and cetoleic acid in fish oil. The materials’ full nutritional value remains to be discovered, which is a statement of truth that does not rest well alongside the numerous claims, appearing with increasing frequency in the media, for fishmeal and fish oil replacements. How can true replacement be vaunted when we don’t yet know exactly how important fishmeal and fish oil are to fish growth and health? A key facet of fishmeal and fish oil production that is well known to those in the industry is the success story that is the development of a recognisable certification standard, and the outstanding level of uptake that has been observed across the sector. Regrettably, the importance of this work is not quite as familiar to those outside the sector, and especially to those who seek to criticise the use of fishmeal and fish oil in aquaculture, or even aquaculture itself. It is, however, undeniable that the development of the IFFO Responsible Supply standard, and its implementation since 2009, has done a very great deal to improve product traceability, integrity and responsible sourcing in the supply chain. With an uptake that represents in excess of 50 per cent of annually produced fishmeal and fish oil, the level of certification goes far beyond that of other feed ingredients. The IFFO RS Standard has two parts: an assessment of the fishery from where the fishmeal plant sources its raw material. (This assessment consists of an independent desktop based review of fisheries management that follows the UN Fisheries and Agricultural Organisation’s (FAO) Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries.); and an independent audit of the fishmeal and fish oil producing plant where robust sourcing, traceability and manufacturing systems must be in place. The IFFO RS standard has existed for more than a decade and although initially developed by IFFO, is a separate entity in its own right in order to ensure full separation of the certification standard from the trade association work. The IFFO RS standard will grow further, both from full certification and also within the Improver Programme (IP). The IP is based on the concept of Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs). FIPs themselves are a way of initiating positive change in locations where regulation may not be entirely effective for a number of different reasons. On top of the target fishery, FIPs will also tend to have benefits for the broader marine environment as they are often organised on ecosystem based fishery management principles, as well as the long term sustainability of the fishing communities that provide the raw material. In summary, fishmeal and fish oil continue to have a bright future in the aquafeed industry by

Feed IFFO.indd 43

virtue of their unique nutritional contributions, level of certification and environmental performance. Although the need for more feed volume is clear with a continued growth of aquaculture, the novel ingredients that are being developed need to be used effectively alongside fishmeal and fish oil to provide optimal fish nutrition for many years to come. It is important that the fundamental importance of fishmeal and fish oil is recognised in aquafeeds, and the feed producers themselves should not be shy about mentioning that they use responsibly sourced fishmeal in their product. It may yet in time be regarded as what it is – the natural diet of the farmed fish species. FF Dr Neil Auchterlonie is technical director at IFFO

“andFshmeal fish oil

are benchmark aquafeed ingredients against which the performance of other ingredients are measured


13/01/2020 15:47:33

Feed – Africa

Still growing together Aller Aqua’s local partnerships help promote aquaculture development


ANISH feed company Aller Auqa has been at the forefront of aquaculture development in Africa, establishing feed mills in Egypt and Zambia, and supplying markets across the continent. Fish Farmer asked the company’s Niels Lundgaard, sales director Western Europe, Africa and Export Markets, about progress in this burgeoning sector and plans for the future. How much has the African aquaculture sector grown since Aller Aqua’s first involvement Africa is a large and diverse continent, and there is great variety in the many different countries. While some African countries are making fast advances, other countries are moving at a slower pace in the development of aquaculture. As a whole, we see aquaculture growing on the continent.

And is it still based around many small businesses? Again, this differs greatly in the various countries. In some countries there are indeed many small businesses, and in some countries a few large com-


Aller Aqua.indd 44

mercial farms account for the majority of the market. We work with fish farms of all sizes. One of the things we work at is helping the small and midscale farmers to develop a commercial mindset, which in turn helps them to develop viable long-term businesses. We do that through the seminars we host yearly, where we focus on different topics, as well as through the advice our representatives give on the farms. What proportion of businesses can afford to buy commercial feeds? This is, again, very different from country to country and largely depends on the commercial mindset of the farmer. Many understand the

Above: Niels Lundgaard Below: Nigerian farm Opposite: Feeding tilapia in Zambia

13/01/2020 15:43:56

Still growing together

need to use extruded feed to achieve better yield, while others focus on the upfront price. Constant availability also plays a big part in the farmers’ purchasing decision. Is there a growing uptake of extruded feeds among farmers? Yes, we see a growth in the understanding of the benefits of high quality extruded feed Your ‘Let’s Grow Together’ approach sees you working alongside local partners – how easy is it to recruit? In the countries where we are present, we have been fortunate to come across skilled individuals who share our vision. Choosing the right local partner who understands what we are trying to achieve together with the farmers, who has access to the local market and who knows how to approach the local farmers is the absolute key to success. How have your training seminars helped development of the sector there? We have focused on helping the farmers develop a commercial mindset, emphasising a sustainable long-term business plan. This will help both the farmer in question, as well as have an impact on society as a whole. Growing aquaculture in Africa using extruded feed will help grow the farmers’ yield sustainably, resulting, among other things, in job creation. What are the main practical challenges of working in Africa?

Aller Aqua.indd 45

The way I see it there are a few challenges; some of them being closely linked to optimisation of the value chain, and some linked to politics and economic stability. As the sector grows in Africa, so does the need for optimisation throughout the value chain. Such development presents a series of challenges for the local aquaculture industry on the African continent. Constant availability, economic conversion rate, high and constant quality, education and local presence, as well as collaboration, are just a few of the things Aller Aqua addresses in the individual markets, and which are the fundamentals behind our strategy and business structure in Africa. As a company we optimise on the parameters we have available to us. Africa has great potential, which should be realised in a sustainable way through long-term thinking and planning. How much local raw material do you use in your formulations? Fish farmers are dependent on a stable quality, and the quality is in turn dependant on production method and raw materials. Many raw materials of a good quality are available from the regions in which our factories are situated, and we prioritise these for both practical and sustainable reasons, but also to support the communities in which we are present. In both Zambia and Egypt, we buy local raw materials whenever possible, while considering both quality and availability. What scope do you see for future growth? Africa continues to show great potential and a steady growth in aquaculture. It is an exciting market to be a part of, and we are confident about the positive development in the coming years. We have stated that we are in it for the long run, and this has in no way changed And what part do you plan to play in that? We will continue to host our seminars and help farmers grow their businesses. Our decision to be founding sponsors of the World Aquaculture

It is an “exciting

market to be a part of…and we are in it for the long run


13/01/2020 15:44:14

Feed – Africa the political agenda, and hopefully push some positive initiatives in the sector all over Africa. The African Chapter recognises the diversity in the African continent and is aware that different initiatives are required in different regions. Have you increased capacity in your two mills in the past two years? The feed mill in Zambia was built in 2017 as the most technically advanced in southern Africa and with scope for increasing demand. There has been no need to expand this production facility yet. The factory in Egypt added a third extruder line in 2017, increasing capacity to more than 100,000 tonnes a year. Society’s African Chapter will also make a positive difference for the sector. We look forward to the AFRAQ2020 event in Alexandria in Egypt, where we are also gold sponsors. Such events help highlight aquaculture in Africa, and we want to be a part of this. How are plans for the first WAS African Chapter conference progressing? As Founding Gold Sponsors as well as Gold Sponsors of the AFRAQ2020 event we are very happy that the plans seem to be progressing well. The theme ‘Sustainable Aquaculture – Feeding Africa’ makes great sense to our work with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). SDG 2: Zero Hunger is one of the four SDGs that Aller Aqua have chosen to focus on in order to make an impact. We believe that there is great scope for this in Africa, and it seems that WAS African Chapter does too. And how do you think the African Chapter can further the goals of growing aquaculture on the continent? I believe that the WAS African Chapter can put aquaculture higher up on

Do you see any other main species apart from tilapia and catfish coming into the market? Tilapia and African catfish are the primary species, and I believe that will continue. There are small volumes of other species being produced, but introducing new species is not done overnight. Both farming techniques and market have to be ready for it. Aller Aqua has diversified by investing in Africa…has this proven to be a wise move? Despite challenges in the markets, we believe in the long-term growth and development in these markets, and we need to be present, just like the many competitors we also have here. We are not here for short-term gain but believe in the growth of the market and creating value

We “ have been

fortunate to come across skilled individuals who share our vision


SPAROS has developed a prediction tool for fish farmers and aquafeed formulators that can be used to benchmark aquafeeds and to study the impact of feed composition changes on farm key performance indicators. FEEDNETICSTM is a mechanistic simulation model that predicts the effects of nutritional and environmental factors on fish growth, feed conversion, feeding costs, body composition and waste emission. While comparing the impact of different aquafeeds on biological, environmental and economic indicators poses several challenges, due to the impossibility of reproducing all the variables that affect growth, with FEEDNETICSTM farmers can confirm and quantify the trends observed at the farm, allowing the establishment of feeding management decisions based on objective criteria. Also, by carrying out predictions for different feeding strategies, farmers can pre-screen the more interesting solutions before field implementation. FEEDNETICSTM can also be used by feed producers to provide guidance to their clients in terms of optimal feed choice (among their range of feed products) and feeding rates for each farm conditions. Furthermore, such tools can be used by the aquafeed sector to support evaluation of novel feed formulas, making R&D efforts more efficient. The value of FEEDNETICSTM can be accessed in the format more suitable to your company needs: make your own simulations with the FEEDNETICSTM web app (annual license), attend one full-day workshop to make your simulations with the support of the SPAROS team, or allow us to make the predictions for you (tailored consulting service), complemented with feed analytics as an option. FEEDNETICSTM is calibrated for seabass, seabream and soon for trout, salmon and tilapia. T: +351 918 210 333 |


Aller Aqua.indd 46

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Still growing together

for the customers through commercial sustainable aquafeed. Delivering high quality feeds for our customers will help them improve, in turn creating better conditions for themselves and aquaculture as a whole. Are you aware of increasing interest in the region from other feed companies? Yes, we see other feed companies entering the market, and we welcome them. A level of competition is needed to ensure the best conditions for the fish farmers and will benefit the entire value chain. Competition keeps everyone on their toes and ensures continuous positive initiatives in the markets, which will help provide good conditions for aquaculture. In 2017, you said ‘we would rather have a small market share of a very big industry than a big share of a small industry’ – where would you place Aller Aqua in Africa today? I maintain that statement. We have small shares of the very big aquafeed markets in Africa, and the industry is growing. As previously mentioned, we welcome competition, as it will help ensure the best possible conditions for fish farmers on this diverse continent. We have long-term plans for continuous support for our customer on the continent. We have great customers in the sense that they see the benefit of extruded feeds and are willing to learn and wanting to grow.

Aller Aqua.indd 47

Is there government support for the industry – In Zambia, Egypt, Nigeria for instance? The politicians are pro-aquaculture and will partake in events and speak of their support in favour of the sector. However, practically, the support is in some countries less visible, and the political bureaucracy hard to penetrate. This is one of the challenges mentioned before. Do you still see yourself more as a facilitator than just a feed company? I think partner is the right word. We partner with fish farmers to create sustainable businesses, through optimal use of feed, developing commercial mindsets and optimising the value chain as well as the feed. As a partner we promote the aquaculture sector through various initiatives such as cooperation with WorldFish, sponsoring WAS African Chapter and its events and hosting seminars. We deliver high quality fish feed to help fish farmers achieve the best possible results. We apply our ‘Let’s grow together’ approach to everything we do. We want to grow with our customers and the sector, and we do so by delivering value. FF Aquaculture Africa 2020 will be held in Alexandria, Egypt, from November 28-December 1 ( Above: Tilapia farming Left: Nigerian fish farm Opposite: A farm in Ghana


13/01/2020 15:45:00

Feed – New initiatives

Mi oh Mi!

Whisky based algae start-up gets £1m funding boost


N Edinburgh based microalgae company has secured further investment of £1 million to commercialise its whisky derived feed alternative. Biotech start-up MiAlgae uses co-products from the whisky distillation process to produce microalgae, high in omega-3 and other nutrients. The algae can be used to replace marine ingredients in fish feed, with one tonne of algae saving up to 30 tonnes of wild fish, according to the company. MiAlgae will use the investment to double the size of its business premises, commission a demonstrator plant in East Lothian and make five new appointments in the next 12 months. The investment comes from previous investors in MiAlgae – Equity Gap, Scottish Investment Bank and Old College Capital, alongside Hillhouse Group, a new investor in the business. Andrew Vernon of Hillhouse Group said: ‘MiAlgae has essentially taken a by-product from one industry and turned it into a solution for another industry. ‘Through the application of biotechnology, MiAlgae is finding solutions to feed the world’s population, and with the global aquaculture industry set to double in size in the next 10 years, this is a very promising business indeed.’ MiAlgae was founded three years ago by Douglas Martin while he was studying biotechnology at the University of Edinburgh. He is supported by Edinburgh Innovations, the university’s commercialisation service, which also manages Old College Capital, the university’s venture fund. Martin said: ‘I am really pleased that with this investment we can turn

Right: Douglas Martin Opposite: Working in the lab and the MiAlgae team

our attention to growing the business. ‘We plan to target the pet food and aquaculture industries with our sustainable, ocean friendly, algae derived omega-3. ‘I am proud that we operate as part of the circular economy where, by using a low value co-product from the whisky industry, we are creating a valuable supply of nutrients for the animal and fish food industries, thereby using the planet’s resources more efficiently.

Salmon feed firms focus on soy sourcing SALMON feed companies Skretting, Cargill, BioMar and Mowi have joined forces with the certification organisation ProTerra and Brazilian soy producers to help prevent deforestation. Brazilian agriculture practices have recently come under scrutiny from the environmental lobby around the world, which could have implications for the aquaculture industry. Aquafeeds often contain soy products originating from Brazil but salmon feed producers in northern Europe only purchase certified deforestation free soy. While the volumes used are not significant from a global perspective, feed companies have also now established a roundtable organisation to work to improve the salmon value chain. The Aquaculture Dialogue on Sustainable Soy Sourcing from Brazil group met recently in Brazil and took action on traceability, transparency, supplier code of conduct and deforestation. Following the first meeting, ProTerra has worked with the Brazilian soy protein concentrate (SPC) producers Caramaru, Imcopa and CJ Selecta to include traceability information and


Feed - Soy.indd 48

Soy “ industries

in Brazil are committed to conducting their businesses in the msot sustainable way

to improve transparency. Each shipment delivered to feed producers will now carry details about the municipalities and states from which the soy from that batch is sourced. Caramaru, Imcopa and CJ Selecta have also set up a semi-automated tracking capacity to determine the sourcing details of the delivery. The Google powered AgroTools is the backbone of the system, and the database issues certificates for each farm that is part of the ProTerra programme. Detailed information about the farm’s deforestation and other illegal activities is available if needed.This means that if a farm is accused of non-compliant activities, or has violated the agreement, it has become easier and faster to determine if and when this occurred, and if the

13/01/2020 15:41:58

Mi oh Mi!

They “ and other

pioneering companies like them are completely redefining the concept of waste

‘There is no doubt we will see a rapidly growing market for our product.’ Kerry Sharp, director, Scottish Investment Bank, said: ‘MiAlgae perfectly epitomises Scotland’s willingness to take the lead on climate related issues. By turning the by-products of manufacturing and industrial processes into a valuable resource, they and other pioneering companies like them are completely redefining the concept of waste.’ Fraser Lusty, investment director at Equity Gap, said: ‘Since our last investment in MiAlgae 18 months ago, the business has achieved a great deal, designing and building its pilot plant, making its first sales to a premium dog food company, and beginning production with its first large scale tank. ‘The business now turns its focus to commercialisation and scaling up. The global pet food market is worth $100 billion and growing at around five per cent. ‘MiAlgae plans to supply customers in both the pet food market and the aquacultural industry in the next 12 months. This is an exciting business, and one to watch over the next couple of years.’. FF

resultant product has been delivered to European salmon feed producers. Another challenge for salmon feed producers in Europe has been to demonstrate that soy suppliers respect labour and environmental laws. The new system ensures that the companies involved in the group fulfil regulations associated with all these issues. The SPC producers see that non-deforestation is an important tool in the fight against climate change and will try to initiate actions to ensure their farmers preserve all forest on their land. ‘Soy protein concentrate industries in Brazil are committed to conducting their business with respect to social, environmental and economic aspects in the most sustainable way,’ said Guilherme Tancredi, CEO at CJ Selecta SA.

Feed - Soy.indd 49

Above: Representatives of the Aquaculture Dialogue on Sustainable Soy Sourcing from Brazil at their first meeting in Saõ Paulo, Brazil. From left: Patricia Regina Campos Sugui (CJ Selecta), Fabiana Reguero (observer from Amaggi), Fernanda Ferreira (Imcopa), Trygve Berg Lea (Skretting), Leif Kjetil Skjæveland (Skretting), Catarina Martins (Mowi), Emese Brosz (ProTerra), Dave Robb (Cargill Aqua Nutrition), Edwirges Michelon (Caramuru), Renato Inocencio Barbosa (Caramuru), Lindsay Pollock (Cargill Aqua Nutrition), Augusto Freire (FoodChain ID).


13/01/2020 15:42:19

Alltech Coppens – Advertorial

Growing pains Solid foundations can support optimal fish growth BY BRAM MEERSMAN, AQUATIC VETERINARIAN, ALLTECH COPPENS.


IFE on this planet is fraught with danger enough for us humans, but in This all contributes to making sustainability more the animal world the phrase ‘dog eat dog’ was coined for a reason. Every difficult while maintaining a suitable harvest size. Below: Example of species is presented with fundamental challenges that determine its But notwithstanding all of these challenges, it is still the complexity of survival. As well as avoiding becoming a meal for someone else, wild fish perfectly feasible to have healthy, high quality fish organogenesis, related have to scavenge for food. So, the more controlled and balanced, one could as long as the correct groundwork is put in place, even say relaxed, environment of a fish farm may appear to remove this threat to growth, in teleost including collaboration with reliable partners in the fish. Here we see of imminent extinction, but only if the fish are cared for correctly and allowed aquaculture industry. the development of Ar�cle for Niamh McNally and Danieke Ewalts – Bram Meersman author 2019 to flourish. bay snook (Petenia Creating optimal conditions with a focus on water quality is crucial for optiGet the foundation right splendida) from mal growth, health and survival throughout the production cycle. One other In 21st century aquaculture, the operating hatching until 45 days the farms overall performance and the nal product quality. Fish, like all of us, go through different issue could be not meeting the nutritional needs of farmed fish, which could systems and new technologies that exist allow post-hatch (Treviño et al., 2010.) leaddevelopmental stages in their lives. So, depending on the life stage of the sh, it will develop to poor growth, deformities, and eye issues, and of course a higher morfish farms to control in much greater detail the Opposite: Results of a tality rate. On the other hand, if the fish are fed a nutritionally balanced diet environment in which their farmed species exist. A different body parts and life func�ons. Different nutri�onal requirements will ensue for each of these trout starter feed tailored for their life stage and the conditions are correct, good performance recirculating aquaculture system (RAS), for example, benchmark trial candis�nct developmental stages. be expected. Neglect these needs and the farm creates unnecessary risk. allows water quality to be controlled, as well as the However, health issues are not the only risk factor for modern day fish farm- performed in the temperature through its filtering systems. With Alltech Coppens Aqua ers. Pollution legislation is becoming more and more of an issue and emissions a trend towards digital and technological control Centre of faecal matter, nitrogen and phosphorus have to be minimised. At Alltech we systems, it is nevertheless still important to consider have developed RAS feeds to comply with low emissions. the cornerstones of farming fish. That means ensuring that the feed being used in conjunction with these new systems is of the highest quality available in the marketplace. Such feeds not only need to match the requirements of the fish but also need to match the requirements of a RAS, including the filters and the bacteria living in them. Ultimately, individual business choices will determine how farms are run. But when choices are made it is important to consider that these decisions, even in the early stages of production, will impact on the farm’s overall performance and the final product quality. Fishngo through different developmental stages in their lives. So, depending on the life stage of the fish, it will develop different body parts and life functions. Different nutritional requirements will ensue for each of these distinct developmental stages. A failure to meet these nutritional needs during early stage development will see fish quickly develop nutritional deficiencies that could have instant adverse effects on their health and performance. Therefore, optimising performance from day one is essential for long term good results and makes the argument for high quality performance feeds throughout the lifetime of production a compulsive one. After the foundation comes the build With these foundations correctly set, the production of a high quality end product is within reach. Once larvae have been raised optimally throughout the hatchery phase, this strong foundation can

50 Figure 1: Example of the complexity of organogenesis, related to growth, in teleost sh. Here we see

the development of bay snook (Petenia splendida) from hatching un�l 45 days post-hatch (Treviño et al., 2010.)

Alltech Coppens.indd 50

13/01/2020 15:40:25

Growing pains

“allFish,of us,like

be rolled out to support optimal on-farm growth. To continue on this upward trajectory a quality, nutritionally balanced feed during the entire production cycle is essential. The philosophy behind this approach is well supported across the industry. Provide any animal with high quality feed and you will enhance its growth and performance, support its immunity system and produce a quality specimen. As well as this solid foundation, though, care and quality across the hatch, nurse and growth stages are also essential. The choice of which quality ingredients and raw materials to select is therefore essential to achieve this optimal performance. Recent research undertaken by the Alltech Coppens Aqua Centre found improvements in both growth and performance when feeding two of Alltech Coppens’ starter feeds to rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) during the hatchery phase, as illustrated in the benchmark trial results above. Alltech Coppens is a specialist in RAS feeds and has more than a quarter of a century of experience working in the aquaculture industry. The company invests heavily in research and development, in particular studying specific nutritional requirements of fish at each stage of their life cycle. By opting to work only with the best quality raw materials, the Alltech Coppens Aqua Centre tests each requirement during the different production phases. Supplementation is a requirement in all farmed species to ensure a nutritionally balanced diet. Included in all Alltech Coppens feed is a premix known as Aquate, developed by Alltech – a leader in innovative nutritional technologies. The skin, gills and gastrointestinal tract are the main barriers for the fish defence system. For them to function optimally they need to be internally supported. It is important, therefore, to optimise the intestinal microflora, gut morphology, immune system and nutrient uptake in order to positively influence performance and welfare. Optimal inclusion levels will result in a healthy digestive system that both aids digestion as well as nutrient absorption and utilisation. Healthier fish will then be produced, but also with lower faeces production and less pollution in both the systems and the environment. Aquate has been specially formulated to meet the specific requirements of several farmed fish like trout, salmon and seabass. It enhances biomass production, supports natural defence systems and encourages healthier and more robust populations with a combination of products — ranging from organic trace minerals to yeast-based additives. The best farm results are seen when feeds containing the Aquate package (like all Alltech Coppens feeds) are fed throughout the entire life of the fish.

of today and for future generations. Innovation research in the Alltech Coppens Aqua Centre has resulted in lowering the carbon footprints of the company, lowering phosphorus and nitrogen emissions and leading to 0 per cent inclusion of fishmeal and fish oil in some feed formulations with no impact on the growth and performance on-farm. In order to understand how these feeds can be implemented on your farm, contact Alltech Coppens or find more information on our website FF

go through different developmental stages in their lives

We have a responsibility for life below (in) water and our future In a rapidly changing environment where pressure on nature is not to be underestimated, there is an obligation to responsibly produce sustainable, well-balanced animal protein. This is a commitment that is taken very seriously at both Alltech and Alltech Coppens. Through our adherence to continuous research, we strive to source solutions to the challenges faced by the customers

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13/01/2020 15:40:43

Research – Harmful algal blooms

What’s the forecast? Early warning is key to ensuring industry can respond to the growing threat of HABs BY MAEVE EASON HUBBARD


LGAL blooms often hit the headlines these days, featuring in more than 500 news reports last year in the US alone. This intense media focus reflects the fact that algal blooms are now occurring more often, at greater intensities and across a wider geographic range than ever recorded before. A paper recently published in the journal Nature probed the changing dynamics of freshwater algal blooms using three decades of global satellite data. Their findings were unequivocal – the intensity of summertime blooms has increased in more than two thirds of lakes examined worldwide. Similar trends are seen in the marine environment. In 2013, a green algal bloom formed on the coast of China that broke all previous size records in the region, extending an astonishing 28,900 square kilometres. Algae are a diverse group of aquatic, photosynthetic organisms that range from microscopic, single-celled, phytoplankton to large multi-cellular seaweeds. When the density of an algal population increases rapidly, it is described as a bloom. Blooms can occur naturally, driven by a complex interplay of factors such as the availability of nutrients and light, water temperature and currents. The rise in algal blooms over the past several decades, however, likely reflects anthropogenic changes to the environment, such as nutrient pollution, climate change and the increased transport of algae in the ballast water of ships. Algal blooms that have an adverse effect on the aquatic ecosystem, economy or human health are described as ‘harmful algal blooms’ or HABs. The type of harm caused by HABs can vary. Some HAB forming microalgae produce toxins that kill nearby animals or bio-accumulate within them, causing illnesses such as paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) in humans if eaten. Others are non-toxic and instead inflict physical harm. The HAB forming microalga Chaetoceros, for instance, bears a set of formidable silica spines that can damage the gills of fish, in some cases leading to suffocation. Many HABs alter the environment around them so severely that it becomes uninhabitable for other organisms. The decay of dead algae within a bloom, for

There “ are various

reasons why a satellite is handy but not the be all and end all


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example, can rapidly reduce the availability of dissolved oxygen in the water, creating hypoxic ‘dead zones’ that are unable to sustain fish and other aquatic life. Such harmful algal blooms can, of course, inflict large scale financial losses on the aquaculture industry. Indeed, farmed fish are particularly at risk as they are unable to avoid the location of a bloom as a wild fish might. In 2016, a bloom of Pseudochattonella killed approximately 15 per cent of Chile’s annual salmon stock, worth an estimated US$800 million. To minimise the risk of such devastating fish kills in the future, efforts are being made to improve the toolkit available to monitor, predict and mitigate the occurrence of harmful algal blooms. HAB monitoring programmes often involve the routine collection of water samples to be analysed in the laboratory. Traditional methods for detecting harmful algae in these samples (for example, microscopy, immunological screening for toxins) have more recently been complemented with a suite of highly sensitive molecular probes and assays that are capable of identifying individual HAB species at very low densities. Outside the laboratory, a range of in situ monitoring tools are also being developed. A Scottish

13/01/2020 15:38:58

What’s the forecast?

consortium, for example, is currently working on an optical sensor system that can be deployed at aquaculture sites to detect the presence of harmful algae. In a recent press release, Chris Hyde, chief commercial officer at consortium member OTAQ, said that this new technology ‘will fundamentally automate the (detection) process and provide accurate information about plankton numbers 24 hours a day’. Remote sensing via satellite has also emerged as a valuable tool for monitoring harmful algal blooms. This form of data collection may offer several advantages over laboratory based methods, as it can occur in real-time, is less labour intensive and can be conducted on a larger scale. However, Professor Keith Davidson of the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) explains that remote sensing via satellite should not be regarded as a silver bullet for bloom monitoring either, as some algae (particularly toxin producing species) are harmful at much lower densities than can be detected by satellite. ‘A harmful algal bloom can consist of just a few hundred cells per litre, depending on the species,’ said Professor Davidson. ‘But to detect a bloom by satellite, you’d probably need ten thousand or a hundred thousand cells per litre.’ Satellites are also limited in their ability to detect

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algae located below the sea surface. ‘If there is stratification of the water column, you might get a thin layer of algae sitting at 10m depth, for example, which a satellite won’t be able to detect. So there are various reasons why a satellite is handy but not the be all and end all.’ Professor Davidson and colleagues at SAMS have collaborated with partner institutions across Europe on two successive projects (ASIMUTH, and now PRIMROSE) to develop and refine a system for forecasting HABs that threaten the aquaculture industry across the Atlantic Arc in Europe. Forecasts are generated by incorporating data from HAB monitoring programmes (for example, microscopy counts and toxicity levels) and satellite remote sensing into mathematical models of physical and biological processes. The team at SAMS prepare HAB forecasts for Scotland, which are shared with users online ( alongside regional HAB monitoring data. Professor Davidson describes these HAB forecasts as ‘similar to a weather forecast, in that it gives a picture of what’s coming up in the next week or so’. This early warning can provide the aquaculture industry with a valuable opportunity to mitigate the impact of a bloom, through actions such as the relocation of enclosures or early harvesting. Looking forward, the expansion of such early warning systems beyond Europe could be key to ensuring that the global aquaculture industry can respond to the growing threat posed by harmful algal blooms in a timely and effective manner. FF

Above:Mussels on Loch Fyne. Far left:Queen scallops. Opposite Image of pseudo-nitzschia seriata complex - a type of diatom responsible for producing domoic acid which if consumed via intoxicated shellfish will cause amnesic shellfish poisoning (ASP). They can form chains in excess of 20 cells long. (Photos: SAMS) Below: This RGB composite image from Sentinel-2A taken on 7 August 2015 has a spatial resolution of 10m. It shows an algal bloom in the central Baltic Sea.


13/01/2020 15:39:21

Europe focus– Training and education Training and education


Optimalwe learning United stand Targeting knowledge with individualised How betterreal mobility couldgaps address recruitmentprogrammes bottlenecks


OW often have you attended a course or staff development event to find yourself nodding internally throughout, wishing someone had checked what you already knew before signing you up? You may have even fleetingly wondered whether there was any way to target your real knowledge gaps, so the time you’d spent nodding could have been spent on the ‘day job’. The general lack of effective systems for the ‘recognition of prior learning’ to inform individual learning plans has been a common and ongoing failing within tertiary education systems, and not just within the UK, but across Europe. Having said that, this seemingly simple concept does present a significant challenge to any educator, requiring a creative amalgam of learning and teaching methods with carefully selected technologies. The devil is in the detail! On September 5, 2019, aquaculture representatives attending the ‘Optimal’ Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership ‘Multiplier Event’ in Glasgow were able to give these, and related matters, considerable thought. Eleven attendees, including HR managers from Scotland’s largest salmon farming companies, educators and support agencies joined us to consider how Optimal methodology and resources may be applied within Scotland. Although our main aim was the dissemination of results and project wrap up, the audience were first provided insights into the original project concept and purpose to kick off the day.

of Scottish and Norwegian national qualifications to employed work based learners. Although both countries were catering for similar target audiences, our Norwegian partner delivered their course through a series of 15 college based sessions (of two to three hours), while the Scottish delivery of the Modern Apprenticeship (MA) was entirely work based. During the first year, partners worked hard to develop RPL definitions that were workable within their respective systems. Thereafter, methodology and resources to support RPL were developed in each country and shared as the project progressed. While course delivery systems and the presentation of national qualifications (NQs) differed markedly, ‘qualifications mapping’ revealed that the specific aquaculture knowledge requirements were very similar, making collaboration a no brainer from the second year onwards. Due to the emphasis on salmon farming in both countries and the deployment of similar methods and technologies, this did not come as a great surprise!

The Scottish Optimal experience In Scotland, Pisces Learning Innovations Ltd (PLI), teamed up with Inverness College to incorporate RPL within the delivery of their Aquaculture MA. Following consultation, the ambition was ramped up a notch or two. It was agreed that with the consent of the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA,) prior learning should not only be recognised but could also be accredited within their MA. A conversation with the SQA confirmed that the use of multiple Defining RPL within national contexts choice questions quality assured by Inverness College was an acceptOptimal was first devised in 2016 to support the development and piloting of the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) within the delivery able way to gather evidence of a learner’s existing knowledge which could then be submitted as part of a learner’s MA portfolio. This has opened the door to the further development of the Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) in the future which, when completed, could help the more experienced MA learners to fast track national qualification completion. PLI devised multiple choice question banks and ‘discrete learning episodes’ which were short, subject specific, illustrated word files, that thereby is much to reflCollege ect an act on.offered within a OW we cater for our future aquaculture learnhadIslands been Enterprise), quality assured Inverness and This autumn also seesframework. the completion of the Erasmus+ BlueEDU Aquaculers warrants careful consideration, particularly coherent and navigable Above and opposite: There Skills LotSocrative 1 project, researching the educati on and training against the backdrop of the ongoing Brexit Itture wasSector agreed to Alliance adopt the Response Tool which allows is a growing appetite needs of 12 EU countries that cage farm fi nfi sh. Clearly, a wealth of opportunity negotiations and Britain’s eventual exit from learners to access multiple choice questions from their smart phones, in both Scotland and awaits us, some of which is European in nature. Europe. while being invigilated during tutor farm visits. Norway to explore Whatever Brexit to ultitheir mately means, thewere UK government reassured us With the release in May of the Skills Review for Tailored according results, they next emailedhas a selecthe mobility exchange tion that can partake in the coming 2019 and 2020 Erasmus+ bid rounds. the Aquaculture Sector in Scotland, commissioned of we learning episodes, so they could undertake focused self-study opportunities On leaving the EU, the completion of any outstanding projects will be UK on behalf of the Aquaculture Industry Leadership funded during transition. Group (AILG) and undertaken by HIE (Highlands and 54

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Martyn Haines.indd 54 13/01/2020 15:35:27

Optimal learning


This may help companies to decipher the common ground between different training schemes that frequently bewilder HR departments


Top: Graphic to illustrate recommended RPL/ APL pedagogy for experienced workbased operatives Right: Tailoring training to demands Opposite: Training in


to all the resources developed within Optimal which they can customise and add to, ultimately completing the MA requirement. The current resource banks fall under a range of subject areas, including: water characteristics, fish biology and lifecycles, fish anatomy, fish nutrition and growth, fish health and small boats. Positive feedback They are now assimilating some of the lessons learnt during Optimal A group of 13 learners with varied backand selecting Optimal resources for incorporation within their recentgrounds took part in pilot activities; all were employed and many had considerable previous ly adopted e-portfolio system, which will support the delivery of their Aquaculture MA in the future. experience, making their feedback invaluable. In addition, PLI are partnering two ongoing Erasmus+ Strategic It was clear that the system worked well for Partnership KA2 Innovative VET projects led by Norway that include them as their responses to opinion surveys Iceland, allowing more resources to support RPL/APL and online learnwere overwhelmingly positive. They enjoyed ing to be developed and shared with Scottish partners. undertaking the multiple choice assessment And who knows, now that we have a Brexit deal we may soon reand found the targeted learning episodes to be well designed, at the right level and of great ceive confirmation from the recently elected government that the UK benefit in addressing gaps in their knowledge. is able to bid within the 2020 round of Erasmus+. The Inverness College and PLI staff found the When we do, we will be knocking on the doors of Scottish college Socrative RT system had significant limitations, partners committed to flexible, technology supported learning systems, though. To interpret RPL results and then email to piece together 2020 project bids that can accelerate the modernisation of Scottish aquaculture vocational education and training. FF each learner the appropriate set of learning episodes was a cumbersome process. Smart Martyn Haines is director of Pisces Learning Innovations, an automation is essential. education consultancy and partner within the BlueEDU AquaculIn the future, RPL/APL and learning should ture Sector Skills Alliance, and welcomes your questions. He can be supported by a Virtual Learning Environbe contacted on 01387 840697 or at ments (VLE) and e-portfolio systems that can be accessed by a PC or mobile device, leading to a more efficient, responsive and seamless system. The industry representatives were interested in the potential offered by RPL and supported the proposed increase in the application of appropriate learning technologies. This could assist the development of individualised learning which has been mapped to the MA, company standard operating procedures and/or company training schemes. They agreed that systemic improvements of this kind would be a positive development of the partnership between industry and its education and training providers. Ultimately, this may help companies to decipher the common ground between different company training schemes that frequently bewilder HR departments and waste a lot of time for new recruits trained previously by another company, and their new employers. targeting the knowledge gaps that RPL had revealed, before entering for assessment subsequently.

What next? The Inverness College staff have full access

Martyn Haines.indd 55


13/01/2020 15:35:45

World focus – North America

digging deep into us attitudes Aquaculture survey reveals contradictions in consumer outlook BY VINCE MCDONAGH


HAT the United States will become an increasingly valuable growth market for Norwegian and Scottish salmon producers over the next couple of years is almost a given. Nordic investment in new land based farms, particularly along the east coast, is running into billions of pounds, while any product bearing the blue and white Saltire symbol is generally a sure fire hit with US consumers. It was one of the reasons that Bakkafrost of the Faroe Islands paid more than half a billion pounds last September for the Scottish Salmon Company. The US is probably the world’s most valuable market for quality seafood, but despite many health conscious Americans wanting to eat less meat, consumption is not growing as fast as it should be. And home based aquaculture still only accounts for slightly more than one per cent of global production. Annual consumption only averages around 15lb a head, far less than what people in many European countries eat and certainly a lot less than Asian countries. This figure, says the Global Aquaculture Alliance, is extremely low for such a prosperous country. But what of an often fickle American public - what do they think about fish farming? A recent survey into consumer attitudes towards aquaculture by Changing Tastes, a value driven consultancy which works closely with high quality US food companies, has thrown up some interesting, and occasionally contradictory, views. It found 44 per cent of US consumers thought catching fish in the wild was better for the environment, against just 25 per cent who say farming


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fish in the sea and 18 per cent who believe land based farming had a less harmful impact. However, more than half – 55 per cent – said fish produced by mariculture, by which they mean offshore farming, was cleaner than other types of fish farming. Changing Tastes said: ‘Our research into the attitudes of US consumers and operators — the business executives who make purchasing, menu and merchandising decisions about what to offer consumers — shows that new aquaculture technologies, such as mariculture production out in the open ocean, can play a key role in growing the market for fish and seafood. ‘Also, while the conventional wisdom is that Americans prefer wild fish and seafood, we scratched below the surface and found that is not entirely true. ‘Both consumers and operators underestimate the amount of farmed fish and seafood we already eat, and also believe a substantial share is farmed out in the open ocean. ‘Over half of consumers and operators believe that aquaculture produces less than half the fish and seafood we eat. ‘Over a third believe that a substantial share is farmed in deep ocean waters away from the shore.’ Changing Tastes found that both consumers and operators have some concerns with current practices affecting pollution and water quality, followed by the use of antibiotics and pesticides. Its analysis continued: ‘Both consumers and operators favour wild caught fish because they believe it has better flavour, quality, texture and is clean, or free of antibiotics, pesticides and other chemicals. ‘Consumers are also likely to believe wild fish and seafood is more nutritious. For operators, price is the top reason they prefer farmed products. In all of these areas, aquaculture has the ability to compete and even offer a better product. ‘This all points to aquaculture as both a competitive and attractive source of fish and seafood. Consumers want to eat more fish and seafood. Despite common beliefs, they have

Above: US consumers want to eat more fish Opposite: Scottish salmon

13/01/2020 15:33:42

Digging deep into US attitudes

While the “conventi onal wisdom is that Americans prefer wild fish and seafood, we scratched below the surface and found that is not entirely true

yet to establish a preference and also are very receptive to farmed fish and seafood if their concerns are met.’ The consultancy believes mariculture, along with other ‘clean’ production methods, can play a key role in growing the market for fish and seafood in the United States. And, while consumers and operators or businesses may underestimate the role of aquaculture in producing fish and seafood, a substantial

number of them have already accepted open ocean farming and consider it to be an established and superior way to farm fish and seafood. The report concludes: ‘Again, the common belief is that Americans prefer wild fish and seafood. On the surface, that’s not wrong. ‘But, when we look a bit closer at individual types of fish and seafood, we find something very different. For many varieties, a larger share of consumers either have no preferences or prefer farmed fish and seafood.’ The study concludes: ‘As an increasing number of Americans shift to eating more fish and seafood and less meat, the share of consumers with no established preference increases.’ FF

Government pledge to reduce regulatory burdens THE US Department of Commerce said it is committed through a strategic plan for aquaculture to help it expand more rapidly by reducing regulatory burdens and driving up research and development within the sector. It says: ‘We will help it grow faster by reducing regulatory burdens and driving aquaculture research. A strong US marine aquaculture industry will serve a key role in US food security and improve our trade balance with other nations. ‘Aquaculture is the fastest growing form of food production in the world. Marine aquaculture in the United States contributes to seafood supply, supports commercial fisheries, and has great growth potential.’ Above: Fish hatchery in US

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13/01/2020 15:34:04

World focus – Russia


seeing red Government announces big plans for domestic salmon farming


HE Russian government is investing more than RUB 80 billion ($1.3 billion) over the next decade in the development of salmon farming in the country. It is part of a new state strategy involving the provision of targeted support to various sectors of Russian fish production and aquaculture, including salmon. As part of the plans, a fishery complex, recently designed by the Ministry of Agriculture, will also be built. And at least 20 new plants for the growing of chum salmon will be constructed in the Russian Far Eastern fisheries basin by 2030. The salmon farming industry received a major boost following the introduction of western sanctions in 2014. In 2012, the Russian ‘red fish’ market was 195,600 tonnes, with only 15,000 tonnes supplied by domestic production. But now salmon and trout farms are springing up, especially around the nuclear submarine and missile bases on the Kola Peninsula, next door to Norway. According to data from the Russian Federal Agency for Fisheries (Rosrybolovstvo), in 2018 the production of trout and Atlantic salmon in Russia grew by 20 per cent on a year-on-year basis, amounting to 67,000 tonnes. The majority of production was in the North-West Federal District. Salmonids take second place in Russian aquaculture, after carps (common carp, silver carp, grass carp) and other herbivorous fish species. However, salmon occupies an insignificant share in both production and consumption in Russia, which is primarily due to the high prices. The decrease of purchasing power among the local population and the imposition of a ban on fish imports - primarily from Norway - led to the reduction of the market to only 100,000 tonnes in 2016. But the recovery of the Russian economy from the financial crisis, which has been observed in recent years, has resulted in significant market growth. Analysts predict the improvement of the economic situation in Russia may result in the growth of overall salmon consumption in Russia up to 200,000 tonnes. That will contribute to the further growth of the investment attractiveness of the salmon farming sector in Russia, which has already been increased since 2017. This is reflected in the number of investment projects, recently


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announced for implementation, in the local market. For example, a couple of months ago the aquaculture enterprise Fish East announced its plans to invest over RUB 1 billion (US$15 million) in the construction of a trout growing complex in the Russian Tambov region with the capacity of 1,000 tonnes per year. At the same time, another project will be implemented by another local producer, Agrocapital, involving the building of a fish farm for growing Atlantic salmon. The new farm will be established in the Lipetsk region (Central Russia), and will require investments totalling RUB 6 billion. At the end of last year, the Norwegian company Nores Watertech announced plans to build an Atlantic salmon plant in Tatarstan with a capacity of 3,000 tonnes per year. And sector pioneers Pure Salmon announced

Above: One of the largest facilities for growing salmon in Russia, in the Borovsky area of the Kaluga region, is operated by F-Trout Below: Ilya Shestakov, head of the Russian Federal Agency of Fisheries and a main driver of farm growth

13/01/2020 15:28:54

Seeing red

plans more than a year ago to build a land based farm in conjunction with Israeli RAS technology company AquaMaof. The 2,500 tonne, €25 million project in the Vologda region, financed by local investors, will include a hatchery, nursery, and full grow-out areas. In the meantime, analysts of the Russian Rosrybolovstvo believe the success of the salmon farming sector will be linked the investors’ ability to create a vertically integrated business, from fish farming itself to the distribution of finished products in the Russian retail market. Most Russian fish farming enterprises cannot at present afford to develop such schemes. The only local producer which implements this model is Russian Aquaculture. The company was expecting to produce up to 20,000 tonnes of salmon by the end of 2019, about 20 per cent of the overall Russian market for salmon. Russian Aquaculture has 49 sites for salmon and trout farming in the Barents and the White Seas and in Karelia, with annual potential production capacity of around 50,000 tonnes. In its first half financial results for 2019, published in August, the company reported a record performance and said it could increase production to 30–35,000 tonnes per year by 2025.

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salmon farming industry received a major “The boost following the introduction of western sanctions ”

Russian farming companies began developing on the Kola Peninsula after the West imposed sanctions in retaliation for the Kremlin’s annexation of Crimea four years ago. Moscow responded by banning Norwegian fish. As in salmon farming elsewhere, disease issues continue to present a threat – Russian Salmon, which was one of the largest producers of red fish in Russia during the 2010s, lost billions of rubles to disease outbreaks. Among the other constraining factors are the lack of qualified personnel and, until now, lack of state support. Moreover, according to producers, there are serious difficulties in obtaining banking loans for the development of aquaculture businesses in Russia. The situation is further complicated by the fact that most of such loans are provided on unfavourable terms and usually involve the payment of high interest rates. But those who have invested are confident of a bright future. Russian Aquaculture CEO Ilya Sosnov said his company expects continued growth in demand for its products. ‘The development of the Russian market for chilled red fish is only gaining momentum.’ FF


13/01/2020 15:29:21

From the archive – November/December 2005

International file

American researchers say exciting times lie ahead for offshore aquaculture BY CHRISTINA REID


ESPITE regulatory issues, offshore fish farming is likely to play an ‘exciting’ part in the future development of American aquaculture, leading researchers in the States have said. Dr Richard Langan, director of the University of New Hampshire’s Open Ocean Aquaculture (OOA) project, said that with new cage and farm designs in development, this is a ‘very exciting time’ for offshore aquaculture. However, Dr Langan said the industry will continue to be reluctant to invest in offshore aquaculture until a regulatory structure is introduced in the United States. The OOA was established in 1998 to demonstrate the commercial potential for fish and shellfish culture in open water environments in the Gulf of Maine. In 2004, it harvested halibut grown in offshore cages


Archive - Jan.indd 60

and this year it has harvested offshore farmed cod and haddock for the first time. An interdisciplinary approach means that while researchers have been testing the suitability of these species for offshore farming, engineers have been engaged in the design and development of offshore technology. Speaking to Fish Farmer, Dr Langan said that of the three species trialled, halibut has shown the most potential as a commercially viable species, mainly due to its resistance to disease. Haddock has been problematic as the fish’s growth rate slows dramatically when it reaches sexual maturity, and cod has been difficult to harvest as the fish can’t adjust their swim bladders readily and are therefore susceptible to decompression problems. ‘We’re looking at several different strategies for halibut and are also looking at what the Norwegians are doing,’ Dr Langan said. ‘This fall we’re going to try stocking out a larger fish, one that’s nearly a kilogram, and we’re going to try growing it to a larger size of 5-6kg. The first time we bought fish that were 30g, put them out to the cages at 100g and grew them out to 4kg but that took three years. So we’re looking at getting them from a land based facility at a larger size and seeing if we can’t capture that faster growth rate. Dr Langan said that while the duration of the growth period carries with it a tremendous amount of economic risk, halibut do very well in these conditions with few to no mortalities occurring during the last production cycle. In fact, there were few to no mortalities in any of the species raised, he said. When it comes to fish escapes, the project has a clean record, a factor Dr Langan attributes to careful handling during transfers and offshore-specific engineering. New cage designs are currently being trialled, including a 5,000 cubic metre geodesic dome-shaped cage, a scaled down prototype of which was launched recently. Load cells will be fitted to the lines that attach the cage to the mooring system in a bid to understand more fully the

Opposite - top: The Open Spar Sea Station. Insert: Dr Richard Langan Right: Commercial fishermen feed the fish. Above rght: Checking the feed buoy on a winter’s day.

13/01/2020 15:26:23

From the archive – November/December 2005

motion of the cage and the stress and strain placed upon it. This will help determine the most suitable type of materials and mooring system for use in a full-scale version. The project has also been focusing on improving automation and communication, and advancements in wireless technology have resulted in higher quality video feeds. ‘One of the keys to successful offshore farming is being able to communicate and being able to see what’s going on underwater from shore because sometimes you just can’t get out there to see what’s happening,’ Dr Langan said. The project aims to help develop ‘clean and sustainable’ fish farming in the deep ocean. Implicit in this is the importance of creating an operation that weighs lightly on the environment, and provides a humane habitat for fish. While researchers say the project has so far had no measurable environmental impact – a factor they put down to the high energy environment of the Gulf of Maine where prevailing currents move huge volumes of water through the fish cages on a regular basis – it is difficult to predict the environmental impact of a commercial size farm. However, researchers will continue watching the environment very carefully as they scale up the operation to raise

Archive - Jan.indd 61

offshore aquaculture.’ Dr Langan does have some concerns about the future development of the sector. The introduction of the National Offshore Aquaculture Act is set to give the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration the authority to license fish farms in almost 4.5 million square miles of federal waters. This act was introduced to Congress in June and amendments have been offered but it has yet to be put to commercial-size populations of fish. serious debate. ‘We’re certainly recognising that, in order ‘I’m hoping that they deal with it in this confor aquaculture to be successful, it’s got to be gressional session,’ said Dr Langan. ‘The stacompatible with the goals in this country for bility of a regulatory structure is really needed integrated coastal management, and what is before we’re going to see some investment. If referred to as ecosystem based management,’ there’s uncertainty in how long their tenures Dr Langan said. would be in a particular situation and what the This includes understanding how well aqfees they would be paying for leasing space uaculture fits in with other activities such as would be, then you’re going to find a tremenfisheries, navigation and energy development dous amount of reluctance on the part of the in offshore areas. industry to invest.’ The researchers want to ensure that Despite these concerns, Dr Langan remains offshore aquaculture is environmentally susoptimistic that offshore fish farming offers a tainable. With this in mind they are looking at way forward for aquaculture. issues such as the long-term supply of protein ‘I think it is part of the future for aquaculture. to feed fish. Alternatives are being considI think we have lots of other opportunities, ered, such as the use of marine invertebrates perhaps not in finfish culture but in shellfish rather than fishmeal to provide this protein. culture in the near shore environments. We Energy issues, such as ways to power the certainly have not reached the potential for farms, are also being considered. that.’ ‘It’s a ten-year schedule to look at some of Dr Langan said he believes an opportunity these possibilities,’ said Dr Langan. ‘Not that also exists for cultivation of seaweeds and sea someone couldn’t start farming fish right vegetables. He said this has yet to be explored, now and be economically viable but I think mainly due to low consumption rates of seain the long-term we have to be looking at all weeds in the US. of these issues to say what the farm of the ‘There are also export markets and the US future is going to be like. There are some very certainly has a trade imbalance that it could interesting new cage and farm designs coming start offsetting with some exports,’ he concludaround so I think it’s a very exciting time for ed. FF


13/01/2020 15:26:40

Processing News

Young’s chooses Coronation St for longest TV campaign Young’s Seafood chose the country’s top soap, Coronation Street, to launch its New Year multi-million pound television advertising campaign. ters of Fish campaign. ‘As a brand, Young’s is passionate about giving consumers confidence to enjoy fish more often and our new campaign shows how easily our Chip Shop and Gastro ranges make it to master mealtimes. ‘We believe our major investment in Masters of Fish will not only Above: Major investment in Masters of Fish will ‘continue positive momentum’ continue the positive momentum we are Young’s hopes to reach Channel 5. It forms part enjoying, but also posiSINCE it was bought of a wider campaign back by private equity at least 33 million tion Young’s as the first consisting of highly shoppers between business CapVest last choice fish brand in the targeted video and January and May. summer, the company hearts and minds of the The movie style crea- paid digital – using has been moving at British public.’’ speed to position itself tion features four ‘mas- consumer viewing The launch comes habits and purchasing ters of fish’, ordinary for growth, with a on the heels of a new data to reach target reshaped management people who demonsupply deal with Asda audiences, as well as strate how Young’s team and important to produce an unusual through integrated PR expertise helps them additional new conflavoured smoked and social media. master different meal tracts. salmon product for the Yvonne Adam, occasions, ranging The new campaign, supermarket retailer. from a midweek family managing director which will be the Extra Special Gin, of Young’s Frozen dinner, a date night brand’s longest Juniper and Lemon Business, said: ‘We’ve and a post workout running TV effort, is salmon was stocked in been perfecting fish pick-me-up. titled Masters of Fish more than 360 stores The multi-channel tel- for more than 200 and showcases its across the UK in time evision advertising will years and we’re hugely for Christmas. The 200 years of seafood excited about bringing product is from Scotrun across the leading expertise to inspire broadcasters, including our unique experience land, with salmon people to enjoy and ITV, Sky, Channel 4 and to life through our Mas- supplied by Young’s cook fish more often.

Masters of Fish We’re hugely “excited about

bringing our unique experience to life

Fraserburgh site. The deal builds on Asda’s and Young’s existing relationship, which has seen the company supply numerous ready to cook and ready to eat seafood products to the retailer for more than a decade. Young’s is also said to have won a new deal from New England Seafood International to supply Marks & Spencer with sea bream and seabass, but neither side was commenting on the report.

CapVest ‘struggling to attract takeover finance’ THE banks are finding it tough going trying to find support for a £305 million leveraged loan used to finance CapVest’s purchase of Young’s Seafood last summer, according to reports from the City of London last month. The private equity firm was re-united with Britain’s largest seafood producer in July after a gap of nearly 11 years. Grimsby based Young’s has since undergone major structural and management changes and has joined the pork producer Karro Foods to form a large new food division called the Eight Fifty Group. But according to the Reuters news agency, the banks are struggling to win support from institutional investors during syndication and have since approached direct lenders to see if they want to support the loan. Reuters says they have been unable find a price point they can all agree on. Barclays is leading the financing, alongside Goldman Sachs and RBC, which equates to around 4.5 times Young’s approximate £70 million ebitda (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and Above: Simon Smith amortisation).


Processing News.indd 62

Nissui may switch to ‘veggie’ products

It says that although the loan was underwritten on an all-senior basis, banks are now considering including a junior position to make the deal move attractive to investors. The company has also performed well recently, which could help a sell down process, the sources told Reuters. One banker said: ‘If you keep flogging a deal it is hard to get people to engage but Young’s Seafood has seen pretty good trading so that could help to re-engage people and find a level.’ CapVest has so far declined to comment on the news agency report. Young’s was put up for sale in the spring of 2018, but it took 15 months for a deal to be completed. During the process the company controversially closed its Pinneys salmon processing factory in Annan, moving the operation to Grimsby. It has since brought in Simon Smith from Grimsby rival Seachill as its new CEO to lead the charge for growth.

THE Japanese seafood giant Nissui may use one of its fish processing factories near Grimsby to produce vegetarian or vegan products. Nissui bought Caistor Seafoods from the New Zealand fishing company Sealord two and a half years ago. The site, 10 miles from the Lincolnshire port, was originally set up by Sealord to produce a wide range of fish products for the high end retailer Waitrose. Then, last May it purchased a 75 per cent interest in the award winning Grimsby processor Flatfish to ‘further enhance synergies within its European operations’. Nissui is now investing heavily in Flatfish, which is almost doubling its fish production capability. According to reports, some seafood operations have already been moved from Caistor to Grimsby, leaving available production space at the former Sealord site. Nissui, ranked 17th in the global seafood league, indicated in its second quarter report that it is planning to start discussing the use of at least part of Caistor Seafoods as a launch pad for ‘vegetal products’.

13/01/2020 15:17:23

Processing News

Northern Irish shellfish firm gears up for Christmas 2020 oyster farm which will help us employ more staff.’ The company secured government funding to attend a trade show in Shanghai, where it met a new buyer from Taiwan, who ordered 50 tonnes of crab on the same day. Rooney Fish now sells 800 tonnes of crab to China each year and is looking to export its Millbay oysters to Japan and Singapore in 2020. Rooney added: ‘Selling overseas has always been an integral part of our business as it is crucial to boosting profit, and the support we’ve received from the UK government has been incredible. ‘I would encourage other businesses in Northern Ireland to consider exporting and find out how the Department for International Trade can help.’ The firm, which employs 67 people in its 6,000 square metre, high-tech processing plant in Kilkeel, exports to 15 countries across Asia, Europe, the Middle East and South America. Orders for next Christmas started rolling in in early January from customers in Spain, France and Italy. By February, Rooney Fish expects to receive Christmas orders from South Korea too. International trade secretary Liz Truss said: ‘It’s great to see Rooney Fish off to a flying start in 2020 and taking advantage of the global demand for food and drink from Northern Ireland. Above: The Rooney Fish oyster farm in Carlingford Lough ‘Thousands across the world will be looking forward to getting a taste of WHILE the rest of the world settles into the New Year, a Kilkeel, Northern our high quality seafood, and the UK government will continue to champiIreland, based seafood company is getting ready for the Christmas 2020 on businesses that export their goods to countries around the globe.’ rush. In 2018, Rooney Fish became the first Northern Ireland winner of the County Down shellfish firm Rooney Fish said orders are already coming in Supreme Champion title in the Blas na hEireann, the Irish National Food from its overseas customers. Awards, for its Millbay oysters, which have also been awarded 3 Gold Stars The family business, established in 1975, exports its range of shellfish, from the Great Taste Awards. including langoustines, crabs and Millbay Oysters, to 15 countries worldwide, accounting for 99 per cent of turnover. In the 12 months to September 2019, exports totalled £9.2 million, an increase of six per cent on the previous year. Rooney Fish, whose customers include Michelin star restaurants, fivestar hotels and supermarket chains, specialises in catching, preparing, farming and processing seafood. In 2014, the business opened its first oyster farm in Carlingford Lough, and now plans to get another farm and employ additional staff to meet increased demand. Managing director Andrew Rooney said: ‘We pride ourselves on the quality of our seafood, which is what sets us apart and has helped us build a global reputation. ‘We have customers across Europe calling to book Christmas orders in the first week of January – never mind Valentine’s Day or Easter. ‘There is growing demand for our products so we’re looking to take our Millbay oysters to Japan and Singapore. We now need a licence for another Above: The company wants another oyster farm licence to help meet demand

Profit turns to loss for Nolan Seafoods NOLAN Seafoods, the Scottish salmon and white fish processor, saw its profits evaporate into a loss last year. The Aberdeen based company, now part of International Fish Canners (IFC), reported a post tax loss of £816,497 for the financial year ended March 31, 2019, compared to a profit of £167,189 in the previous period. Nolan Seafoods employs almost 200 people and processes an extensive range of farmed and wild caught fish, both fresh and frozen. This includes more than 50 tonnes of salmon fillets and 10

Processing News.indd 63

tonnes of salmon portions a year, along with a substantial number of cod and other white fish fillets. Turnover was down from £22,165,000 million in 2018 to £20,475,000 last year. Almost 75 per cent of sales (£14,835,000) go into Europe, with the remainder (£5,630,000) directed to UK customers. It was European sales which took the biggest hit this time, down by £1.7 million. The company described the loss of profits as ‘disappointing’ and admitted that the downturn had continued into the first half of the current financial year.

But there was a forecast of a return to profit during the second half, which ends on March 31. The group’s strategic finance report said: ‘Since the year end, the directors have undertaken a strategic review of the company and the group and following this exercise, price increases have been agreed with major customers. ‘Production processes are also being improved by the installation of a new production line and mechanical filleting machine. ‘Revenues from cold storage should also increase following investment in new facilities.

Following these moves, profits will increase in the second half of the year.’ The report also said there was adequate working capital to carry out its operations over the next 12 months. Founded in 2002, Nolan became part of IFC in the autumn of 2017.


13/01/2020 15:17:45

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13/01/2020 14:38:31

Opinion – Inside track

Happy New Year, I hope BY NICK JOY


O, it happened! For some, there would have been weeping and gnashing of teeth after the general election, for others, glee. Whatever the case, the position from Westminster is going to be very different than that of the last three years. Of course, the EU may play another blinder and find a way to keep us in but I doubt it. Europe is just about as fed up with the whole Brexit process as the UK is. Furthermore, their ability to persuade MPs and the media has gone, as the election has cleared up, if not the view of the British people, then their need to get this over with. The ability to weaponise various areas of the withdrawal is still possible, and I am sure will happen, but it is highly unlikely that the deal itself will fall through. What keeps on being forgotten is that the EU may not need the UK as much as the reverse, but it is of no benefit to them to have a World Trade Organisation Brexit either. As to how this affects aquaculture and agriculture, I will simply refer to the article that I wrote the day after the referendum in 2016: ‘For an exporting aquaculture, what will this mean? Or for poor beleaguered agriculture, is this salvation? I fear it is more of the same but more accountable.’ The knowledge of our countryside and marine environment in either parliament is uncomfortably low. The likelihood of further repression of our industries is about the same as it was under the EU. The only difference is the local nature of our parliament, and if the countryside industries actually get together and work together, then we may effect some useful change. The biggest problem is the current disunity. I am not referring to the wild salmon and sea trout sector’s antipathy to salmon farming, but the fact that aquaculture and agriculture don’t work together. As pointed out in last month’s Fish Farmer, the government will be asked to trade away some fishing rights in exchange for access to the EU market. For salmon farming, we might think that as long as it does not affect us then we will be able to trade freely. I would countenance a building of strong relationships between fishing, agriculture, aquaculture, forestry and country sports. Not because I believe that giving everyone a good cuddle is the best way, but because we are still small enough to be picked off. There will be some who fear a malign government. I have my doubts about whether that will prove to be the case, but I am more afraid of the ignorance involved. In a situation where an elephant and a mouse are in a room together, the elephant might not see the mouse, and has no intent to hurt it, but in the end you try explaining that to a squashed mouse. As an industry, we have few who understand us and among other rural industries we do not have the support that we might otherwise wish. So now is the time, while the government is trying to decide who should be sacrificed and who advantaged, to try to get a greater level of understanding with those who might need our help. The great British public who made their decision in December are also critical to us and we need to be sure we have the highest profile in explaining why we matter.


Nick Joy.indd 66

I would “ countenance

a building of strong relationships between fishing, agriculture, aquaculture, forestry and country sports

Just in case you wondered, I’m not avoiding the success of the SNP here in Scotland, who are claiming a mandate for another referendum. I still feel that, whether their view is correct or not, they will succeed eventually in getting the go-ahead. How long that will take I will not predict, but I believe it will be well after the end of 2020, which will allow the effects of Brexit on business to at least settle down a little. I fear, though, that SNP demands will continue to extend the period where companies are nervous of investment, but that cannot be helped. I hope you all had a wonderful festive break and transition from 2019 to 2020, and that it will be similarly easy when we change from 2020 to 2021. We can at least hope! FF

13/01/2020 15:15:36

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